INCIDENCES of defilement have continued to rise with the Child Sexual Abuse One-Stop-Centre at the University Teaching Hospital UTH) recording 146 cases in September.
Indications are that this year’s defilement prevalence is likely to be higher than the figure of 1,244 that was recorded last year.
A paediatrician at UTH, Lalick Banda, in an interview, noted that the increase in defilement cases is despite the continuous campaigns against the vice and the deterrent jail sentences.
Dr Banda noted that most of the defilement victims were between ages 11 and 15, and that there were 108 cases recorded in September last year.
“We have recorded 146 cases in September alone. This is the highest we have ever recorded in a month and we anticipate the figures to be higher this year because we have not got any number lower than 90 from January to September this year,” he said.
He explained that victims of defilement at UTH’s Child Sexual Abuse One-Stop-Centre are tested for HIV and are provided with post- exposure preventive medication and emergency contraceptive in the case of adolescents.
Dr Banda further said it is unfortunate that some children contract the virus after the sexual assault, and that some mothers stop their children from taking preventive anti-retroviral drugs, especially when they experience side effects.
He said between January and August this year, 56 girls got pregnant after the ordeal; 19 boys were sexually abused; and that 170 children aged between zero and five years were sexually abused.
Dr Banda said the one-stop centre at the paediatric centre of excellence at UTH is working to ensure that children are protected from acquiring HIV, while providing care to those infected and support to the victims’ families.
He said the one-stop centre has counsellors, health personnel, social workers and police officers to provide the children and their parents with all the services they need at one point.
Dr Banda noted that some cases of defilement reported to the police in Lusaka do not get the needed medical attention because those involved discontinue cases because of having to move from one place to another in order to make a case.