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Rape and Medical Consequences among Girls and Women Victims during the Post-Armed Conflict Context in Congo

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DOI: 10.4236/ojepi.2019.91007    373 Downloads   666 Views

ABSTRACT

Rape is a criminal, aggressive and violent act to have sexual intercourse with a person without her consent. Few studies have been conducted on rape and sexual assaults related to armed conflict in developing countries. The objective of this study was to assess the magnitude of rape and its medical consequences among victims during armed post-conflict period in Brazzaville from January to December 1999. Rape victim was defined as woman or girl having received medical care from January to December 1999 in care units following reporting having incident of rape. SPSS V 20 software was used for the analyses. A total of 1282 victims were assessed. We documented 106 post-rape pregnancies, of which 58 (54.7%) ended in abortion, 15 (14.2%) in miscarriage and 33 (31.1%) in childbirth. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were common, with 560 (44%) cases among the 1282 victims. Of these, 301 (23%) had trichomoniasis, 123 (10%) had salpingitis, 89 (7%) had vaginal candidiasis and 38 (3%) had gonorrhea. A large proportion of morbidity 362 (28%) was attributed to vulvovaginal injuries and traumatic pelvic pains. In conclusion, our study highlights that rape practice was common in context of armed conflict in Congo. Medical consequences were unwanted pregnancies leading to unsafe abortions, STIs and physical injuries. Results argue in favor of effective public health interventions for a better prevention and care of victims during and after armed conflict.

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Gilbert, N. , Gickelle, B. , Axel, A. and Richard, B. (2019) Rape and Medical Consequences among Girls and Women Victims during the Post-Armed Conflict Context in Congo. Open Journal of Epidemiology, 9, 75-81. doi: 10.4236/ojepi.2019.91007.

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