Friday, 30 July 2010



Mufulira District Director of Health George Mukuka says that there is need to collaborate with neighbouring countries to ensure that the country moves at the same pace with its neighbours in the implementation of health intervention programmes.
Zambia Child Health week
Commenting on the just ended national measles vaccination exercise during the Child Health week in Zambia, Dr. Mukuka said Zambian children in border towns still have the risk of contracting measles from their colleagues in neighboring countries if such countries have not carried out measures to curb preventable diseases such as measles.
He however said that the Mufulira health team managed to vaccinate some Congolese children along the border with Zambia including those who were in Zambia at the time of the exercise.
Dr. Mukuka said the team has also stepped up surveillance along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo that no foreigner comes into the country with measles.
He said with the measures that have been put in place, measles would be detected right at the border entrance and treatment would be conducted there and then.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the Malawi Government sealed off Zion Church on allegations that the church is preventing its members to seek measles vaccination in the hospitals as reported by Nyasa Times on its website.
Members of Ntonda Zion Apostolic Church in Chiradzulu district have accused the Malawi government of violating freedom of worship for closing the church’s branch in Chiradzulu district.
Church Elder Stephano Chopi says the development has forced the members to pray from inside their homes.
“It is two months now. We have nowhere to worship instead we are just staying in homes. It is also a threat to our children because they will not know the living God,” Chopi lamented.
“I have no plans to join any other faith I can just live with my faith without going to any church,” he said.
Chopi says the scripture say clearly that an ill person should be taken to the church elders for prayers.
He therefore watered down government’s accusations that the church has contributed to the increase of death rate among measles patients.
“It was written in the Bible that ‘everyone shall die’. This means that nobody will die unless his or her time has come. So it was automatic that whoever seeks medication will survive. Medication or no medication anyone can die. It’s just a matter of time”, he says.
Since February, Malawi has faced its biggest measles epidemic in 13 years. Health officials say the disease has killed over 90 people, mostly children, and infected more than 20 000 others.
The government says the church’s doctrine of refusing its members of receive medical treatment in hospitals has highly contributed to rise in the death rate of the patients.
Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika  has asked the church to stop the conduct.
“I’m not against freedom of worship but if it is against the welfare of the people, especially children, I’m totally condemning it. I’m totally sad with what this church is doing, why should we let children die for no proper reason?” Mutharika said recently in Chiradzulu district.
Mutharika said nowhere in the Holy Bible or Quran does God condemn medication.
Children wait to be vaccinated against measles at an MSF mobile 
clinicCourtesy of Doctors without Boarders
“Even in the Bible Jesus was administering some medication. Do you remember that Jesus (Christ} mixed his saliva with soil before he applied it to the eyes of the blind man for him {the blind} to see. Wasn’t that a medication?”
Several local rights groups have also condemned the church for violating the rights of children.
But Chopi is adamant saying his children were attacked by measles but got healed after praying for them.
“We don’t think we are violating any rights of children because we all know that life on earth ends when a person dies. What we are doing is preparing the children the longer lasting life in heaven so that they can enter the paradise when they die,” he says.

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