By Brighton Tchongwe
The Parliamentary Committee on Health has emphasized on the need for interfaith organizations to take a leading role in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
This has been disclosed during parliamentary committee meeting with leaders of the Malawi Interfaith Aids Association (MIAA) at parliament building in Lilongwe.
Committee chairperson Mathews Ngwale said there is need for government to include MIAA as one of it’s organs in the dissemination of Covid-19 vaccines after noting laxity amongst Malawians to receive the vaccines.
“We are all aware that the vaccines the country settled for such as the Johnson and Johnson, AstraZenneca and Pfizer have all been certified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as such there is no need for people to continue shunning them due to several myths attached them,” said Ngwale.
This according to Ngwale calls for collaboration as a country to make sure that more people receive the vaccines as such government needs to equip these faith organisations with vaccine messages considering that most of the people who are defiling the vaccines are God believers so argue that doing so is against Gods words while some are being decieved by the influx of fake news.
During the meeting, they also discussed on the role MIAA can take in raising awareness on how the country can achieve the Suitainable Goal on HIV/Aids elimination by the year 2030 as well as on family planning issues.
“The goal to eradicate HIV/Aids in the country by the year 2030 is indeed doable but as it stands we might fail to achieve due to the higher rate of new infections especially amongst the youths hence we need serious sensitization. We also need to reach out to the masses with Family Planning messages especially now when the country’s population is fast increasing,” added Ngwale.
The chairperson further applauded the role MIAA is playing in the country as it brings together all pillars of faith leaders including witch doctors who are the most trusted group especially in the rural areas, hence equiping them with the right information can help change the society.
In her remarks MIAA Executive Director Pilira Ndaferakhande said they thought of engaging the Parliamentary Committee to discuss especially on issues of HIV and Aids considering that most of such people are being discriminated especially in work places.
“Most organisations do not have support to develop policies like workplace policies as such we want to have a law that will prevent discrimination of people living with HIV and Aids especially in the faith institutions like churches and mosques. She has hence asked the parliamentary committee to assist in the allocation of HIV and Aids as well as covid-19 funds which can help them to boost their activities across the country,” she said.
At the meantime, she has appealed to the international organizations to help in pumping in more funds to local organizations so that they could reach out to even hard to reach areas.