Sexual assault: Lagos upgrades 40 primary health care centres
*Trains health workers to be able to attend to cases
By Adeyemi Robinson-Adefioye, Lagos
In a renewed effort to ensure that victims of all forms of sexual assault receive adequate medical assistance, the Lagos State Government has upgraded 40 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the State to cater for all related cases.
This is just as the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Primary Health Care Board, has stepped up efforts to implement the already launched the Sexual Assault Standing Order and Sexual Assault Evidence Examination Kit also known as rape kits.
Coordinator of DSVRT, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi who spoke at a recent training session for health workers of PHCs, said the Centres have been empowered to render 24-hour service, laboratory testing, HIV Counselling and Testing, and Maternal and Child Health Services.
She said participants at the training were drawn from 10 areas including Agege Local Government Area (LGA), Orile Agege Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA, Ifelodun LCDA, Apapa LGA, Apapa Iganmu LCDA, Badagry LGA, Olorunda LCDA, Ibeju Lekki LGA and Lekki LCDA.
She said the continuous trainings and upgrade of health facilities was in furtherance of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s desire to ensuring that all survivors of sexual assault, irrespective of class or means, can receive comprehensive medical care at no cost.
She recalled that the rape kits, also known as Sexual Assault Evidence Examination Kits were launched in 2016 and are currently available at all comprehensive PHC Centres.
“The Rape Kits contain the necessary instruments used for evidence examination some of which include microscope slides, saline water, swabs, materials for blood samples, comb, paper sheets for evidence collection such as clothing fibres and hairs, nail pick, gloves. The documentation forms which include the consent form and Patient History/ Sexual Assault History are also included in the rape kit,” Vivour-Adeniyi said.
She expressed optimism that the training would ultimately improve the quality and documentation of evidence collection for sexual assault patients.
According to her, the training was organised by the Lagos State DSVRT with technical support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
“In the unfortunate case of a sexual assault, members of the public are advised to go to the closest comprehensive Primary Health Care Centre to receive optimal care,” the DSVRT Coordinator said.