Health workers asked to be honest on police medical forms
The Western Regional HIV and AIDS Focal Person, Dr Ronald Sowah, has charged health workers, who examine alleged rape and defilement victims, to be honest in their report and avoid compromising the ethics of their profession.
He said the findings of the examination of alleged sexually abused victims must be recorded accurately devoid of any exaggeration
so that innocent persons would not be incarcerated for wrongs they had not committed.
“In view of this, you should not allow yourselves to be influenced or induced by any monetary consideration to give false report because that could be detrimental to your profession and the course of justice,” he said.
Dr Sowah was addressing over 200 health workers drawn from the 17 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Western Region at a day’s workshop in Takoradi on Monday.
He said findings recorded on police forms could be subjected to serious scrutiny by legal pundits in the court of law therefore the
health worker, who records such findings should be prepared to defend them in court when called upon to do so.
“When you’re called upon to defend your findings on alleged sexually abused victims in court, you should be prepared to answer
questions that will be posed to you by the plaintiffs’ legal counsel”, he said.
Dr Sowah indicated that, only certified medical doctors had the right to endorse police medical forms and advised other health workers, who did not have the authorization to desist from endorsing such legal documents to avoid being caught in the web of law.
The workshop, which was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aimed to train health workers to be abreast with the basic facts about HIV and AIDS, STIs as well as to manage post exposure prophylaxis of blood products and body fluid.
It was also to sensitize health personnel in Western, Central and Greater Accra regions on how to reduce the spread of the HIV, malaria and hepatitis in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals on Child Mortality and Maternal Health.
Dr Sowah expressed happiness over the stabilization of the spread of the HIV in the region, saying in view of intensified sex education and public awareness, the prevalence rate of the virus in the region stood at 2.5 per cent as at last year, below the national prevalence rate of 2.9 per cent.
He, however, tasked health workers in the Ellembelle District in particular, to intensify sex education in the area due to the presence of the Ivorian refugees in the district, saying the virus is said to be endemic among asylum seekers.