Detection of Indices of Violence against Women by Health Professionals in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital

Adeyemi, Adebanjo B. ; Irinoye, Omolola O. ; Oladimeji, Benedicta Y. ; Fatoye, Femi O. ; Fatusi, Adesegun O. (2005)


Context: Violence against women (VAM) is the commonest form of violence existing in human race and is a major reproductive health issue of our time because of its many negative reproductive health consequences. Health care providers have important roles to play to build capacity of their employees to meet the challenges of diagnosing, manging and preventing this societal problem. This can be started by assessing their training needs. Objective: To determine the extent to which health professionals can recognize some indices that may suggest VAW. Design, Setting and Subjects: This is a descriptive study. Using a structural questionnaire a survey was done among a randomly selected doctors, nurses, and social workers in OAUTHC, Ile-Ife in Osun State of Nigeria. Information on their socio-demographic characters was obtained and they were also asked to identify the degree of association between a set of signs and symptoms in relation to violence against women. Results: Divorce/separation during pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse in women, attempted suicide were the indices (with scores of 85%.8% and 79.9% respectively) that would mostly prompt suspicion on VAW. About 31.1% of the respondents may not appropriately detect VAW. There is no significant difference in the ability with regard to sex, years of experience and the professional group. Conclusion: Health professionals in OAUTHC will benefit from training and retraining programme on how to detect VAW. Similar baseline surveys are recommended for other health institutions as the first step in meeting this great challenge of the twenty-first century.