Malawi child with male and female organs suffer discrimination: CHRR calls for govt’s swift action

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) is making a strong appeal to government authorities to swiftly act on a case of a nine-year-old child who was born with both male and female sexual organs in the central region lakeshore district of Salima.

The CHRR Senior Community Health Advocate and District Project Officer in Salima, Fletcher Simwaka is making the appeal after what he says “reluctance by medical authorities in the country’s referral hospitals to act on the condition of the child.”

According to the parents the child uses the female organ for urinating.

But they say the major problem is that baby’s “strange” sexual status subjects him to a series of self-stigma and discrimination from fellow pupils at Msalura Primary School negatively affecting his chances of continuing with education.

Future (2nd Left) with parents and Fletcher Simwaka (Right)
Future (2nd Left) with parents and Fletcher Simwaka (Right)

Realizing the severity of the child’s situation, Simwaka says, the parents took the child to Kamuzu Central Hospital in the capital Lilongwe where the child was referred to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre.

“We made effort to cater for transport costs for both the child and mother to travel to Blantyre for medical attention where they received a cold shoulder from the hospital’s officials as the two were turned away by the hospital staff who promised to call them back later. Until now they are yet to be called back for medical attention,” says Simwaka.

He says considering all the pain both the child and parents have undergone all along, the organization has decided  to call for the government’s intervention through its relevant departments to ensure that the child “gets the necessary medical attention in good time”

The parents for the child, Adin and Royce Edward hail from Kalonga village, in the area of traditional authority Kalonga in the district.

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