Encourage congregants to receive Covid-19 vaccine, faith leaders told
Ntchisi District Hospital, Director of Health and Social Services, Dr Lumbani Munthali, has urged faith leaders across the country to encourage their congregations to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Malawi: Director of Health and Social Services at Ntchisi District Hospital, Dr Lumbani Munthali, has urged faith leaders across the country to play an important role in encouraging their congregations to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
He made the statement on Thursday in Ntchisi district during a meeting organised by the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) to lobby faith leaders to take part in encouraging their followers to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Munthali stated that faith leaders in the country are critical in the implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination initiative.
He said: "Faith leaders are very important in the implementation of a successful Covid-19 vaccination programme because most Malawians belong to a specific church and churches are packed on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
"In this case, faith leaders have a large influence on their congregants, so involving them in health service delivery, such as Covid-19 vaccination, would help to reach out to the targeted population.”
He also stated that the Ministry of Health intends to vaccinate approximately 13 million people against Covid-19 in order for the country to achieve head immunity and that this will only be possible if local authorities, such as faith leaders, play a role in encouraging their followers to receive Covid-19 vaccine.
Dr Munthali applauded EAM for engaging faith leaders on the issue of Covid-19 vaccination, saying that this would help faith leaders in the country go above and beyond in encouraging their followers to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
EAM Secretary General Rev. Francis Mkandawire stated that the organization's mission is to assist the government in educating the public about the Covid-19 vaccination.
"After observing a decline in Covid-19 vaccination rates in the country, we thought it prudent to assist the government in raising public awareness about the Covid-19 vaccine so that many people in the country could be vaccinated," he explained.
EAM invited faith leaders and officials from faith-based organisations such as the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM), Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM), Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), and Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) to participate in the recent meeting.
Following the meeting, QMAM representative Sheikh Jaafar Kawinga thanked EAM for organising it and stated that it was informative.
Apart from faith leaders, EAM is also working with chiefs and youth in the country to raise public awareness about the importance of the Covid-19 vaccine.