The Society of Medical Doctors (SMD) has described claims by some individuals in different parts of the southern region of the country that they encountered blood suckers as purely Mass Hysteria.
In a press statement signed by the society’s president Dr Amos Salimanda Nyaka, the society says that it has 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.
“All so called victims have had normal blood parameters. The initial isolated incidents may have had elements of Shared Delusion Disorder. This is when a dominant individual who is deluded and can have those following his/her believing and internalize the delusions. Shared delusion is usually confined to a locality. It is the considered view of the Society that such blood suckers do not exist! This is purely Mass Hysteria,” reads the statement in part.
The society has since advised the media and the public to be cautious of what they post on social media.
“We are also disappointed with how some of the mainstream and social media have reported on the issue. There has been irresponsible sensationalisation of rumours of blood sucking vampires. This has the potency of perpetuating fear and anxiety in the population, with the exponential negative effects we have seen so far,” it reads.
The society says the rumours have negatively affected the deliverance of health services. It further says that the health sector’s ability to offer the routine community health services in the affected areas has slowed down, the provision of maternal, neonatal, and child health services amongst many other services have dwindled.
According to SMD the rumours have also affected the work of Malawi Blood Transfusion.
“With the malaria season around the corner, it is disaster in the making!”
The society has since challenged all who may have a belief that their blood has been sucked to go to a hospital for proper assessment and help.
Commenting on the matter on Saturday, when he attended the official launch of the cultural grouping for Senas and Mang’anjas called Ngumano wa Asena na Mang’anja at Paramount Chief Lundu’s headquarters in Chikwawa, President Peter Mutharika highlighted that if anyone will be found attacking or accusing another of being a bloodsucker, they will be arrested.
He urged the nation to concentrate on developing the country than dwelling on the blood sucker issue maintaining that so far there is no evidence of any bloodsuckers in Malawi.