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Medical treatment delayed for abused children: Audit

Mariyam Malsa
20 January 2020, MVT 21:40
A child walks alongside her guardian in Kanduhulhudhoo, Gaafu Alifu Atoll. NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
20 January 2020, MVT 21:40

The audit report publicized by the Auditor General's Office revealed that in certain cases, children subjected to physical and sexual abuse receive delayed medical treatment.

The performance audit report was conducted in November 2019 to assess the manner in which relevant institutions handled child abuse cases.

Despite regulations that necessitate a consultation with a specialist doctor to assess whether the abuse is sexual or physical in nature, children were not given any medical attention in certain cases.

In other instances, a delay of around four months was noted before the children were taken to the doctor.

Speaking anonymously, a local paediatrician stressed upon the importance of seeking urgent medical attention, if a child is suspected to be abused in any way, stating that immediate treatment was crucial in collecting DNA samples of abusers.

The paediatrician further impressed upon the importance of timely treatment in cases of physical abuse, adding that most bruises fade from the skin within two weeks even though more severe injuries take longer to heal.

The children's specialist attributed delayed medical treatment for child victims of abuse to delays in reporting the cases to law enforcement.

Although regulations necessitate the compilation of separate care plans for children placed in state facilities after an initial needs assessment, the performance audit noted that these plans were not created in 49 cases out of the 50 samples studied.

The audit found that individual files for children detailing their information were also not compiled.

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