On yesterday’s front page, this paper carried a story entitled ‘Doctors warned of tampering with child abuse evidence’.
The story was a warning from Deputy Minister for Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, who had said in Parliament that doctors, who would go against professional ethics and values, notably tampering with medical evidence needed to prove child abuse, would have their medical licences revoked.
He also hinted that stern penalties would be imposed on those found guilty of abusing children sexually, including serving in prison at least 30 years.
The deputy minister’s warning concerns also other health workers and any other person doing a similar thing. Of course, there are complaints that some medics have been tampering with medical reports.
This, according to complainants, has been favouring suspected child abusers to the detriment of the victims. It is indeed an unimaginable crime to change a medical report of a child or any victim of sexual abuse in favour of the culprits and make them innocent, where they should have been found guilty.
That is why Mwalimu Julius Nyerere insisted “Justice shouldn’t be bought”.
President John Magufuli has on several occasions reiterated his relentless fight against corruption at all levels for this has an impact on poor people. Any God-fearing person cannot conceal the truth and let an innocent person fall prey to sexual abusers.
According to the deputy minister, 400 gender desks have been established at various police stations as well as the juvenile court where children can be heard and their issues be speedily determined.
This is a good move, but more is still needed and this is to ensure that we all become protectors of children from abuse whether at family, street, village, district, regional and national levels.
If we are all concerned about the welfare of children we will indeed do something to prevent their abuses. There are many people, who complain that moral decadency has made us live as strangers to one another, where we should have lived as kin and kith.
Close relatives have been cited as among the sexual abusers of children and unfortunately their cases have been finished at family level and their identities have often remained undisclosed, while the poor victims have their identities been known almost in the entire village or street.
Because of this, even if they grow up they will be traumatised by what has happened in their lives while they were still young and so they are subjected to derision from their peers or inconsiderate people and all this marks their psychology and grow up seeing themselves as unwanted.
This is what happens to them. So, we call all well-wishers to join hands to fight sexual abuse against children. If each one of us does something against it, we will indeed succeed in this fight against child abuse.