Church leaders in Ntcheu district have been cautioned on spiritual healing, a trending phenomenon that is discouraging people from taking medical drugs.
Bishop Moffati Litchapa, chairperson of the district’s Interfaith Aids Committee (DIAC), said the development was “causing a lot of health complications.”
He said during a two-day workshop on medication and spiritual healing that faith has “nothing to do with the immune system” at all.
According to Litchapa, the situation is one of the propellers of a worrisome number of antiretroviral drugs defaulters the district continues to register lately.
Ntcheu is one of the most hit by HIV, with the current prevalence rate pegged at 9 per cent.
“Whether someone gets healed by faith or not, church leaders are not supposed to tell anyone to stop medication,” advised Litchapa.
Group Village Headman Dzoole also corroborated Litchapa’s sentiments, opining that “workshops like these can help combat the problem to a greater extent.”
In Malawi, like elsewhere in Africa, healing is central to Pentecostalism, a radical belief in the power of prayer and miracles.
The workshop, organized with funding from the Malawi Interfaith Aids Association (MIAA), brought together religious, traditional and health officers among others.
MIAA is implementing a ‘promoting access to drugs and medication’ project in Ntcheu and Salima districts with funding from the Norwegian Church Aid.
Prayer for sex
Confirming the development, Lilongwe Police Station Spokesperson, Inspector Kingsley Dandaula, said the incidence happened on Friday, November, 20, 2015, when the victim had gone for prayers and deliverance at Reverend Katsala’s house.
“The victim and her other friend had gone for prayers at the Reverend’s house at CCDC location.
“Reverend Katsala prayed with both girls for a few minutes and then he asked the other girl to go outside and wait for her friend. When her friend went outside, Katsala took the victim to his bedroom where he told her to undress and to lie down.
The Reverend then came on top of the girl and told her to sing hymns while he was raping her,” Dandaula said.
The police spokesperson continued that after raping the girl, the Reverend asked the girl to have some food before leaving his house but the girl refused and went outside the house where her friend was waiting.
“She told her friend about the ordeal and together, they went to report at Kawale Police who gave the girl a report and rushed to the hospital where it was confirmed that she was indeed raped. Kawale Police went and arrested him,” said the Police Publicist.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :