Psychiatrist calls for Paedophilia tests in defilement suspects


A psychiatry professional, Twisile Kalinga says there is need for defilement offenders to be mentally assessed before they are taken to court to ascertain if they were in their right mind or not when they committed crime.
Kalinga who is also a clinical technician at St Peters Community Hospital in Likoma in an interview Tuesday said a research she conducted in Mzuzu and Mzimba Prisons in 2018, revealed that 54.8 percent of defilement convicts tested positive to Paedophilia, a psychiatric and psychological condition that makes adults get sexually attracted to children.
According to Kalinga, this means that chances are high that some of the inmates committed sexual crimes due to the condition.
“This is why I feel that if the convicts are assessed before being taken to court, then we can determine how serious the problem of Paedophilia is in as far as the increase in defilement cases is concerned in the country.
“I also believe that if an offender is found to have committed the crime under the influence of the disorder, the offender should receive proper counseling and treatment so that they become normal after serving their respective jail terms,” she said.
Kalinga further called for support from government and private sector to join hands in sensitizing people to go for psychological help whenever they feel a sexual urge for young children before the condition drives them into committing a crime.
“Those who have already committed a crime due to the disorder should be assessed and treated to avoid repeating committing similar crimes.
“But for those who have not yet committed such crimes, it is very important for them to meet a psychiatrist or psychologist.
“This is a chronic condition hence such people need to go through Cognitive Behavior Therapy which helps one change the way he thinks. Selective serotonin Reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to cure depression can be used to cure this condition because it also reduces libido,” she said.
Among others, Kalinga also suggested that toll free lines should be established so that people with the condition access help in privacy.
Pedophilia is psychiatric disorder in which an adult or adolescent experiences a primary sexual attraction to prepubescent children.