The government has launched national guidelines to be used by health care providers in the clinical management of survivors of sexual violence.
Although Government had launched the Victim Friendly Unit in 1996 to enable child survivors of sexual violence access quality health care and social protection services, there were no written guidelines for health care providers. The Ministry of Health and Child Care reports that more than 945 cases of sexual violence are being treated across the country every month.
Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Aldrin Musiiwa, who was guest of honour at the launch ceremony, said the guidelines put more focus on the need for survivors to report within 72 hours of the incident, so as to minimise chances of contracting HIV, other sexually transmitted infections and protection from pregnancy. Whereas in the past, sexual violence victims were turned away if they went to a health institution without a police report but the new guidelines stipulate that victims should be assisted and referred appropriately.