National

Blood sucking rumours hinder NSO surveys

By patience lunda:

Moses Mkandawire

The National Statistical Office (NSO) has revealed that the blood sucking rumours in some districts of the country are affecting the implementation of two surveys the office is conducting.

The two surveys are the Malawi Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (Mics) and the Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey (BBSS) being carried out nationwide.

NSO Public Relations Officer, Kingsley Manda, said data collectors are being mistaken for blood suckers in rural areas since one of the surveys, the BBSS, involves the collection of dry blood samples from the participants.

“The two surveys are the only ones being affected by the blood sucking rumours and we feel like this might affect the survey results, but we are putting up measures to avoid any possible attack,” he said.

The BBSS aims at measuring the prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and the survey involves the collection of dry blood from the participants while the Mics is designed to collect statistically sound and internationally comparable estimates of key indicators that are used to assess the situation of children and women.

Recently, an angry mob in Nkhata Bay District demolished a rest-house and a hair salon over blood sucking allegations.

The situation was triggered when NSO data collectors went to conduct the BBSS in the district.

Meanwhile, Church and Society of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia Executive Director, Moses Mkandawire, has since urged the government to strengthen security for the citizenry while also calling on NSO to suspend the surveys.

“Government has to ensure all citizens are safe from mob justice and we are appealing to NSO to temporarily suspend the surveys to avoid putting the data collectors at risk of being attacked by angry people in communities,” he said.

So far, ten people have been killed since the blood sucking rumours emerged this year.

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