Knowledge, screening and reporting practices of health professionals towards gender based violence among women in Kabwe district, Zambia.

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Soko, Jennipher N. Akebu
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The University of Zambia
Identification of victims of gender based violence and reporting GBV to legal authorities are key steps in management of gender based violence. The purpose of the study was to examine the knowledge, screening and reporting practices of Health Professionals towards gender based violence in the form of physical abuse from an intimate partner among women in Kabwe District. A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted with 207 Health professionals (19 doctors, 43 Clinical officers and 145 Nurse/Midwives) from 6 randomly selected clinics and 1 hospital in Kabwe district. Nurse/midwives were randomly while doctors and Clinical Officers were conveniently selected. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data and analysed using SPSS version 20. Chi-square test was used to determine association between the independent (Demographic variables, knowledge levels) and dependent variables (Screening and reporting). The statistical significance was set at 5% (0.05) and confidence interval was set at 95%. Majority, 79.9% of the respondents had high knowledge level on gender based violence. Screening for and reporting cases of gender based violence to legal authorizes were low, 54% and 31.4% respectively among the Health professionals. Screening and reporting practices of the respondents were inadequate, 83.6% and insufficient, 87.0% respectively. A statistically significant relationship was observed between respondents‟ profession and their screening practices for gender based violence (p – 0.020), training and reporting practices of gender based violence (P – 0.039), knowledge levels on gender based violence and their reporting practices (p – 0.022). Knowledge levels of health professionals were high despite the majority not been trained in gender based violence. However, their screening for and reporting practices of gender based violence to legal authorities were insufficient and inadequate respectively. Training / ongoing sensitization in gender based violence is recommended to improve the situation. More research is required to establish factors contributing to the Health professionals‟ insufficient screening for and inadequate reporting practices of GBV to legal authorities despite the HPs having high levels of knowledge on GBV.