Mitigating the consequences of sexual violence in Zambia by decentralizing emergency medical responses to police victim support units: Report on the feasibility of police provision of post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV (PEP) in Zambia
The Zambian Ministry of Home Affairs (housing the Zambia Police Service); the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health; and the Population Council collaborated on operations research studies to increase provision of emergency medical care to survivors of sexual violence via the Zambia Police Services (ZP). Recognizing the need to strengthen linkages between the police and the health sector and following up on the lessons learned from earlier models of police delivery of emergency contraception, this feasibility study was designed to: determine if victim support unit (VSU) officers could be trained to safely and effectively provide post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to sexual violence (SV) survivors, explore ways to improve linkages and referrals between the ZP and hospital providers, and raise community awareness about SV and increase prompt reporting of cases to participating VSUs. The study confirms that Zambian police officers can effectively and correctly provide SV survivors with a three-day starter pack of PEP and refer them to health services for follow-up. However, the study also highlights issues needed to improve program effectiveness.
Zama, Mary, Mardieh Dennis, Jessica Price, Stephanie M. Topp, Jonathan Kaunda Mwansa, and Jill Keesbury. 2013. "Mitigating the consequences of sexual violence in Zambia by decentralizing emergency medical responses to police victim support units: Report on the feasibility of police provision of post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV (PEP) in Zambia." Lusaka: Population Council.