Malawi is experiencing a modern-day witch-hunt which sees medics and nurses involved.
The mob believes that stethoscopes, carried by doctors are used to suck blood. The MailOnline reports also that medics are robbed , their vehicles smashed and ambulances attacked by people who think they are intruments which come from dark forces.
The attacks started in September but alarm has grown in recent weeks as they spread to Blantyre, the second-largest city in the country.
Doctors in Malawi have been beaten for carrying stethoscopes by vigilante mobs who believe they are vampires using the instruments to suck blood.
Medics have also been robbed and had their vehicles smashed, while ambulances have been attacked as patients were taken to hospital, a doctors’ association said.
This is a critical case of “mass hysteria“, as The Society of Medical Doctors in Malawi said. In particular, the South of the country is experiencing a mass belief of doctors as vampires. At the moment, 124 people have been arrested for carrying out the attacks.
‘We are disturbed by the reports of thuggery that has resulted into some health workers being attacked for carrying a stethoscope. Some have had unfortunate incidences of having their vehicles smashed, and in others having their possessions taken off them for being suspected of being blood suckers, and or in pursuit of the non-existent suckers. This is despicable and we condemn all these and all similar acts of barbarism on innocent people unreservedly and in the strongest language possible.’
There is of course no evidence that vampire exist. On the other hand this can happen when a dominant individual is disappointed about something, he will influence many other people inside the community. So, the delusion is internalized and it becomes a community issue, which must be erased. This is called ‘Shared Delusion Disorder‘.
As reported above, police arrested 124 people on Friday two weeks ago after two men were beaten to death in Blantyre, accused of trying to obtain human blood for voodoo rituals. After this fact, one person was burned and another stoned to death by angry community for being suspected to be blood suckers.
However, the situation is critical. Malawi is one of the world’s poorest nations, and belief in witchcraft is widespread. President Peter Mutharika last week vowed to investigate the killings and the vampire rumours.