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Bloodsuckers don’t exist—doctors

The Society of Medical Doctors SMD) has described as a myth the existence of bloodsuckers, saying reported cases from all the hotspots have not been medically proven.

A wave of attacks against people suspected to be bloodsuckers has been reported in five districts including Blantyre. So far, police say vigilante mobs have killed nine people since the lynch mob attacks began in mid-September.

“There have been claims by others that the drainage of blood is potentially done through magic. While this may seem difficult to explain why there are no physical signs it is our view that those who are experiencing symptoms attributed to bloodsucking are in fact experiencing what in the medical professionals is described as somatisation,”’ said Dr Amos Salimanda Nyaka, president of the medical society.

Somatisation, Dr Nyaka said, is a situation in which one’s internal worries and anxiety manifest into actual physical symptoms.

He said that they gathered no evidence from the health facilities in the affected districts that anyone has adequate clinical evidence to support any of the many claims to date.

The doctors asked President Peter Mutharika, who has been visiting the affected areas, to dissuade people from accusing others of blood-sucking.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Association of Malawi (Mam) has asked journalists to stop sensationalising the issue of alleged blood-suckers.

Mam Secretary General, Alhaj Twaibu Lawe, said at a press briefing in Blantyre reports on the issue are increasing fear and panic among Malawians.

Mam becomes the latest religious body to condemn the rumours after an angry mob attacked Muslim cleric and principal of the Blantyre Islamic Mission Muhammed Muaz Nadwi on suspicion he was a blood-sucker on Thursday last week as he was escorting his wife who then sick to a hospital in Blantyre.

“As one of the religious organisations in the country, we feel compelled to voice out on the matter after noticing that, if nothing is done soon, the country risks going into anarchy,” Lawe told journalists in Blantyre yesterday.

The United Nations (UN) and U.S. embassy have blacklisted the districts affected as dangerous zones for staffers and nationals. Earlier this month the UN pulled staff out of Mulanje and Phalombe.

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