Lagos upgrades healthcare centres to handle sexual assaults

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Upgrade of health facilities was designed to ensure that survivors of sexual assault medical care.

Forty Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) have been upgraded across Lagos State to cater for sexual abuses as part of renewed efforts to ensure that victims of all forms of sexual assaults receive adequate medical assistance.

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 had been empowered to render 24-hour service, laboratory testing, HIV Counselling and Testing, Maternal and Child Health Services.

Mrs Vivour-Adeniyi stated that the continuous trainings and upgrade of health facilities was in furtherance of government’s desire to ensuring that all survivors of sexual assault, irrespective of class or means, could receive comprehensive medical care at no cost.

She recalled that the rape kits were launched in 2016 and 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 reiterated.

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 added.

Sammie Idika