Thyolo religious leaders integrate Covid-19 messages with HIV awareness in sermons

Thyolo religious leaders have integrated coronavirus messages with HIV awareness in their sermons as part of fighting against the viruses.

The religious leaders who are of various Christianity churches; which are Roman Catholic Church, Assemblies of God, Calvary Family Church and Agape Life Church as well as Muslims, said their aim is to assist in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic as well as spreading awareness on HIV and AIDS to their members.

In an interview, Pastor Frank Mbewe of Calvary Family Church in Thyolo said 99% of people in Malawi do go to churches, temples or Mosques hence these messages reach more people at
once.

“You know religion is part and parcel of government, therefore, we thought it wise to utilize the opportunity that at church is where many people gather hence these reach the multitudes at
once.

“And also we thought of including HIV and AIDS messages for knowing that with the coming of Covid-19, people have forgotten that AIDS is still a killer,” said
Mbewe.

In his comment, Pastor Rodney Kagwa of Agape Life Church in Thyolo said religion is a sustainable tool in the fight against any pandemic or any crisis as it has word of influence to its
members.

“At the church you may find politicians, business persons, health personnel’s as well as laymen’s.  Therefore, it is easier for the messages to be grasped. Additionally, as religious leaders, we have word of influence meaning to say whatever we say people take it seriously hence people easily adhere these covid-19 and HIV AIDS messages,” said Kagwa.

On his part, one of Muslim leaders in Thyolo Kachala Lawrence of Muslim said they encourage members to go for HIV testing saying it is good for one to know his or her health status.

He also said that they formed groups in order to provide messages of HIV and AIDS depending on levels ranging from youths, couples and elders.

Amon Chitsime of Assemblies of God church said nutrition component is also incorporated in HIV and AIDS messages and has encouraged people who are HIV positive to use locally available foods in order to have full diet than relying on expensive diet.

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