Child sexual abuse and possible health consequences among secondary school students in urban Tanzania
Background: Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a global public health concern especially in developed countries and where legal measures take unprecedented time. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of different forms of CSA, and the perceived health consequences among secondary school students in Tanzania.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed in Dar es Salaam using a random sample of 15 public and 8 private schools, each having participants from one randomly selected class. A self-administered questionnaire was supervised by research assistants to collect data and. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify CSA risk factors the perceived health consequences.
Results: A total of 827 girls (61%) and 532 boys (39%) with a median age of 16 years participated. Those who experienced at least one incident of sexual abuse in their life time.were 376 (27.7% n=1359). Prevalence of any CSA and forced penetrative sex among boys and girls was 26% and 30% and 8.7% and 9.8% respectively. Of those exposed to CSA, 20% were exposed at least four times..
Conclusions: CSA constitutes a public health problem in Tanzania. Awareness of sexual abuse incidents and associated health consequences need to be introduced to respective teaching curricula