In some remote southern regions of Malawi, it’s traditional for girls to be made to have sex with a paid sex worker known as a “hyena” once they reach puberty. The act is not seen by village elders as rape, but as a form of ritual “cleansing”. However, as Ed Butler reports, it has the potential to be the opposite of cleansing – a way of spreading disease.

I meet Eric Aniva in the dusty yard of his three-room shack in Nsanje district in southern Malawi. Goats and chickens graze in the dirt outside. Wearing a grimy green shirt, and walking with a pronounced limp (he’s been lame in one leg since birth, he says), he greets me enthusiastically. He seems to like the idea of media attention.

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The authorities in Malawi say at least 170 people have died in flash floods – a sharp rise on previous figures.

Heavy rain over the past month has swept many houses away and caused residents to flee to higher ground, some crossing the border to Mozambique.

Vice-President Saulos Chilima said more than 100,000 people had been displaced from their homes, mostly in the south.

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