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Men cautioned against impregnating women with mental illness

Phalombe District Social Welfare Office has expressed concern over men who continue to impregnate women with mental illness saying this is accelerating cases of abandoned children in the district.

In an interview on Thursday, Acting Social Welfare Officer, Stanley Gundeni, said his office started receiving cases in 2021 and so far nine have been reported.

He said the situation has led some of the women to abandon their children at the hospital soon after giving birth.

“Three women run away from the hospital soon after giving birth abandoning their children. We had to take them to Chisomo Children’s Home at Bvumbwe in Thyolo for care; two children have been adopted at Chiringa and one died during the adoption process,” said Gundeni.

He said most of the women impregnated are those who cannot speak and are illiterate which makes his office difficult to trace the perpetrators.

Gundeni has since asked government and Civil Society Organisations to support his office in constructing a home so that children can be taken care of within Phalombe than sending them to other districts.

Acting Social Welfare Officer Stanely Gundeni

In random interviews, most people said beliefs are fueling such tendencies saying others think sleeping with a mentally challenged woman grows their businesses grow hence getting rich.

One of the men in the district, Mabvuto John, said he was once told by his friend to sleep with a mentally challenged woman for his business to do well.

He said this shows that most men are doing it with other purposes than quenching their sexual desire.

He noted that children raised by women with mental illness cannot grow well since they lack parental care like providing basic needs and sending them to school.

Traditional leaders in the district have since pledged to address the issue during community gatherings to avoid further abuse of women with mental illness and their children.

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