NkhataBay DHO urges faith communities to open up for polio vaccine

As the second phase of polio vaccination commences on April 25, Nkhata Bay District Health Office has urged all religious denominations in the district to encourage their followers to allow children get the vaccination.

Deputy Public Relations Officer for Nkhata Bay District Health Office, Milika Khoza, has said although health workers managed to vaccinate over 40,000 children in the first phase, the exercise was tough because of some religious groupings which are against vaccinations and transportation problems to reach other areas.

Nkhata Bay District Hospital

She added that there is hope that the second phase will be a success as her office has engaged faith leaders in the district to encourage followers of religious denominations to understand the importance of vaccination in line with rights of every child.

“Some religious denominations did not allow their children to be vaccinated in the first phase. This time around, we have involved different faith leaders to help us make their followers understand the importance of this vaccination campaign,” Khoza told the local media.

One faith leader in the district, Bishop Kayange, said the word of God does not prohibit anyone from getting vaccinations adding that religious denominations should follow and abide by interventions by government in relation to people’s health.

“We are working together with government to fight polio. In books of Exodus and Romans, we hear of nurses and midwives who were helping people on maternal issues. This means we have to make sure we take care of our health by listening to the word of God,” explained Bishop Kayange.

The polio vaccination campaign returned to Malawi after 28 years when the World Health Organization (WHO) together with the Ministry of Health in the country declared a poliomyelitis case at Area 24 in Lilongwe in November, 2021. The case was detected in a 3-year-old child.

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