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Religion of Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Source: GNA

Christian Council expresses worry about Pastors interference with Doctors

Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni – Frimpong, the General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana has expressed concern over some religious leaders interference with the work of Medical Doctors in treating patients at the Hospitals.

He said there were instances where some pastors have instructed patients to ignore prescriptions by medical Doctors and stick to their so called spiritual water for healing, frustrating the work of the Doctors.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Rev Opuni-Frimpong said when the incident of Ebola virus was reported in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the Council got the impression that churches in those countries attributed the virus to a curse from God and other spiritual things.

He said when faith-based organizations frustrate what professional Doctors are supposed to do, with such understanding; it makes handling the issues very difficult and appealed to them to allow the medical professionals to do their work without undue interference.

“All religious bodies must accept that Ebola is a medical challenge, which needs medical response, urging them to intensify the education drive in Churches and Mosques to supplement the efforts of health practitioners in health delivery,” he added.

Rev Opuni-Frimpong said religious bodies played an effective role in influencing the citizenry because of the respect they command from society and the greater number of people they speak to, and as such they need to educate and not misinform them.

He expressed concern about how religious leaders were neglected from an inter-ministerial committee to couch-out measures to secure the country’s borders against persons who may enter the country with the virus.

“This is surprising because the country cannot handle a national crisis like the Ebola virus without involving the faith-based leaders, since they are an effective network in pushing the national health agenda of the country”.

He said the Council has instituted educational programmes such as mass media and social mobilization, engaging social and political leaders and heal the sick project, all in an attempt to educate the public on the Ebola virus.

Rev Opuni-Frimpong noted that the World Health Organization has come out with five pillars of Ebola preparedness methods, which are coordination among stakeholders, surveillance, Lab testing, case management and public education.

He said the Council is rolling out a campaign for faith-based organization in six regions and 130 selected schools across the country to be trained by health practitioners on best practices to protect themselves in case there is any Ebola outbreak.