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Karonga, May, 13 Prostitution has hit red levels in the boarder district of Karonga as sex workers are finding solace in hooking underage boys. While sex work is criminalized in Malawi, the secret escapade seems to be a hot business in the night confinement. It is said after selling chips and other small-merchandize during the long hot day, the boys, who are less than 18 years old, get stuck in the sex workers' rooms for enjoyment.
The new trend is famous in areas such as Chilumba, Uliwa and Karonga Township. Chairperson of the sex workers, Mable Mhango, confirmed of the malpractice, sayingthe young boys have become the hot catch. Mhango said for instance, the boys, most of whom dropped out of school, have become vendors and are the ones involved in the practice. She said upon interaction with one of the boys at Chilumba, they accepted being involved in the practice, saying their parents do not take care of them, let alone giving them food.
The boys say they are doing this because of lack of parental care, claiming that the sex workers take good care of them because they are given good food before their escapades.
Mhango said the spread of HIV is very high among the youngsters, saying both boys and young girls are opting for elder women and men respectively. Assistant District Social Welfare Officer for Karonga, Katoto Kamwela said his office is aware of the issue and will soon hold a stakeholders meeting to find ways and means of addressing the situation.
Karonga District Youth Officer, Lapken Liwago said his office will take an immediate action against the malpractice. He said much as Karonga District Hospital is making strides in addressing issues to do with sexual reproductive health among the youths, the sector faces challenges due to inadequate funding.