Malawi Network of Religious Leaders living with or personally affected with HIV and AIDS (MANERELA+) has urged church leaders in the country to stop discouraging people from taking medical drugs.
Program manager for Manerela+ Bruce Tushabe said that some religious leaders encourage their church members living with HIV and AIDS to believe in faith healing rather than medical treatment as prescribed by doctors.
“We are facing religious challenge of practices where some church leaders encourage people living with HIV and AIDS to stop taking Antiretroviral drugs that help to boost the immune system,’’ said Tushabe.
Tushabe however said that the church leaders tell people to believe in faith healing which does not work with the immune system.
According to Tushabe, if people stops taking ARVs or any drugs that helps boost immune system chances are high that their viral load will go up.
Commenting on the issue Evangelist Andrew Banda of Oasis of Lord church said that leaders are supposed to encourage their church members who are on treatment.
“Whether someone gets healed by faith or not church leaders are not supposed to tell anyone to stop medication,” said Banda.
Banda suggested that it was better to teach people the word of God and how the power of the Lord changes situations.