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PERCEPTION AND PRACTICE OF POST RAPE CARE AMONG HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS IN A TERTIARY HOSPITAL IN EDO STATE

Sexual abuse in any form, including rape is seen as a private matter, which is fueled by a culture of secrecy, stigma and silence which make the abused unlikely to report the crime as they are often ashamed, frightened, and incapable of verbalizing their experience. Health care workers occupy a unique position in providing medical care and psychological support for rape victims. Such a position may be influenced by their perception, practice and the services available for postrape victims. The aim of this study was to assess the perception and practice of post rape care among staff of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital Irrua. A descriptive cross-sectional design was utilized for this study. A total population of 221 health care workers consisting of nurses, doctors and social workers were used. A selfstructured questionnaire was the instrument used, data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics, hypotheses stated were tested using Pearson`s correlation coefficient and Chi –Square at 0.05 level of significance. Results showed that the respondent’s perception of post rape care was high (93.4%). The study revealed that Services available in the institution of study are post exposure prophylaxis counselling, screening for VDRL (venereal diseases) and emergency contraceptive. Further findings showed that the practice level of post-rape care services rendered by the staff was good (69%). Lastly the study revealed that factors affecting the care of rape patients in the study institution are late presentation (82.2 %) and poor cooperation of victims (61.9%). Also, the study, revealed significant relationship between perception and practice of post rape care (p<0.000), however there was no significant relationship between years of experience and practice of post rape care. (P=0.056). Hospital management and federal ministry of health should actively train health professionals in the linkage of sexual violence and health care in order to improve the practice of post rape care.

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