Have you seen a rape kit? A snapshot at the quality of care of rape survivors in Nigerian tertiary hospitals
Context: The rape kit has become a fundamental tool in the evaluation of the rape survivor in many countries. Its
availability and use in Nigeria has however not been documented.
Objective: To assess the current availability and usage of the rape kit in Nigerian tertiary hospitals, and evaluate the management of rape survivors.
Methodology: Resident Doctors attending the Obstetrics and Gynaecology update course, held in Abuja in March,
2009 were interviewed using a self-administered questionnaire assessing experience in rape management, knowledge about the rape kit and its availability, as well as current management of rape survivors.
Results: There were 138 respondents from 25 tertiary hospitals, with a male-to-female ratio of 2.8:1 and a mean
duration of 3.3 (SD 1.4) years in training. 120 (87%) had personally managed one or more rape survivor(s), but none of the respondents had ever seen a rape kit, and only 29% were aware of it. Although all the respondents indicated availability of emergency contraception, antibiotics and tetanus prophylaxis in their centres, only 32.4% had access to HBV vaccine, and about 8% indicated lack of HIV prophylaxis. Only 28.7% and 45.6% indicated access to clinical psychologists and medical social workers respectively.
Conclusion: The rape kit is not available in Nigerian tertiary hospitals. We recommend its provision, and regular
training of doctors, especially Obstetrics and Gynaecology Residents on rape management, to improve the care of
rape survivors in Nigeria.
Key Words: Rape, Rape kit, Rape survivor, Nigeria.