Health worker accused of abusing five-year-old son

Health worker accused of abusing five-year-old son
Health worker accused of abusing five-year-old son

Africa-Press – Malawi. Communities living around Mtende Health Centre in Mzimba District have asked health officials to transfer in-charge of the facility who is answering a case of harming his 5-year-old son by burning his finger with charcoal fire.

Malawi24 followed the story and found out that Dennis Chawinga and the mother of the child parted ways and the man married another woman who also has a child already. Chawinga agreed with the new wife to also bring in his biological child from Kasungu.

Our investigations indicate that when the child was taken to Mzimba, the father was allegedly abusing the child by beating him as a punishment for urinating in bed.

On December 26, 2023, Chawinga found the two children trying to get some relish in the pot, and he immediately grabbed his son, whipped him, burned his left hand on fire, and locked him in the house.

After he saw that the child was in great pain, he went to the hospital, where he got some medicine and treated his son. People in the area reported the matter to Kafukule police, who arrested Chawinga and, upon recording his statement, released him on police bail.

On January 8, 2024, the matter came to Euthini Court under Magistrate Harrison Sitiki, where the man refused allegations that he burnt the child. He claimed that the child fell on fire accidentally.

But the child told the court that his father burned him by using charcoal and putting his hand on the fire. According to people who Malawi24 managed to talk to, they want the medical assistant should leave the hospital because of the allegations against him.

The residents claim that some patients have already started refusing to be treated by the health worker at the hospital. Mzimba South Social Welfare Officer Bernard Nangwale has confirmed having knowledge of the issue by saying what his office did was taking care of the child (safety), where they managed to return the child to his biological mother in Kasungu.

Nangwale added that his office is following up on the case, which is currently in court. Executive Director of Communities in Development Activities (COIDA) Patrick Mwale said he supports the demands for Chawinga to be removed.

“Let me thank Kafukule police for acting and taking the matter to court. It is our belief that justice will prevail but let me agree with the people in the area that the officer should be removed from the facility immediately,” said Mwale. It is unclear if healthy authorities in the district will transfer the medical assistant from Mtende hospital, where people have lost trust in him.

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