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11/12/2014 4:12 pm  #1

Malawi-Apostolic Faith couple arrested for neglecting a sick child

Malawi Police arrest Apostolic Faith couple for neglecting a sick child

Harry Chibwe - Nyasa Times
November 9, 2014

Police in Malawi's eastern district of Balaka are keeping in custody a husband and wife for allegedly neglecting to provide medical attention to their child.

The suspects Isaac Chindimba 48, who is biological father and Martha Banda 42, a step mother said their faith does not allow them to take medicine.  They are of the Apostolic Church. According to the Child Protection Officer for Balaka Police Sergeant Elias Sungani, the victim is a form 2 student and she fell sick at School a developement that forced the School management to send her back home.  

Upon arrival at home, the parents who are devoted apostolistic faithfuls did not take the child to the hospital for treatment. because their faith teaches them not to take medicine, instead they were just praying and giving her anointing water.

And when the neighbours and relatives saw the condition of the girl, they reported the matter to Balaka Police Child Protection Office who rushed to the scene and took the child to Balaka District hospital amid resistance from the parents. The girl has since been admitted and medical examination has proved that she has cerebral malaria and was at a critical stage.

Meanwhile, police have pressed charges to the couple and they are expected to appear before court soon where they will answer a case of neglecting to provide medical attention to their child which is contrary to section 165 of the penal code. It is also an offence according to Child care, Protection and Justice Act 2010.  

They are from Ndoya village, in the area of Senior Chief Nsamala in the district.  

Police are informing member of the general public that it is an offence punishable by law for a parent or guardian to neglect to provide adequate diet, clothing, shelter, medical attention and other necessities to their children.


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