Clinical presentation and management of alleged sexually assaulted females at Mulago hospital, Kampala, Uganda

Ononge, S.; Wandabwa, J.; Kiondo, P.; Busingye, R.

African Health Sciences 5(1): 50-54


ISSN/ISBN: 1680-6905
PMID: 15843131
Document Number: 263017
Objective: To determine the presentation and treatment offered to sexually assaulted females attending the emergency gynaecological ward in Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Study design: Prospective descriptive study. Participants: 58 sexually assaulted females were recruited from 1st March 2000 to 31st December 2000. They were interviewed, examined, given appropriate treatment and followed up for 3 months. Outcome variables: Socio-demographic characteristics, genital and bodily injuries, relationship to the assailant and prevalence of sexually transmitted infections. Results: The mean age was 9.5 years (range 1-35 years). 72% of the victims were children aged less than 12 years. 50% of the assaults occurred at the assailant's home. The majority (79.3%) of the victims knew the assailant. 6.9% of cases were gang rape. The injuries sustained were extra genital (19.0%) and genital (75.4%). Emotional or psychological disturbance was present in 22.4% of the patients. The sexually transmitted infections found included Trichomonas vaginalis (1.7%) and syphilis (3.7%). All cases received counselling and prophylactic treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Those of reproductive age were offered emergency contraception. None of the victims received post exposure HIV therapy because it was not available in the hospital. Conclusion: Sexual assault is common in Uganda and is one of the major crimes against women. It is associated with adverse medical and social problems. There is an urgent need to alert the community to report cases of sexual assault early for medical treatment.

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