Churches respond to cholera outbreak

HARARE - As Zimbabwe grapples with the cholera outbreak, churches have pledged to help fight its spread with some saying they will be shelving services for this week.

Others said they will take the opportunity to educate their congregants on cholera related issues.

The government has since imposed a ban on public gatherings as a measure to contain the cholera outbreak in Harare.

The ban has affected a number of events including musical concerts and University of Zimbabwe graduation ceremony among others.

New Revelation Ministries led by Miracle Paul said they will comply with government efforts in fighting the cholera outbreak.

“It is very disturbing that we lost a number of people due to cholera; we pray that God will help us contain the situation as a nation. We will comply with the government decision of putting a ban on public gatherings as a church, because in the Bible we are told to be under the authority of the day, and leaders are from God.

“However, we are of the opinion that the ministry of Health should put in place monitoring measures on church gatherings than to ban religious gatherings completely.

“The government through the ministry of Health should work hand in hand with us to spread the disease awareness campaigns,” Paul said.

“In churches, we don’t sell fruits nor eat or even drink during services, but we need to monitor toilets and greetings (handshakes). Some of our members do not have access to media texts because of their social background; hence we believe the church is going to play a pivotal role in this fight against cholera by spreading awareness,” he said.

Respected church leader Rodgers Jefrey said the church should partner the government and local authorities in the fight against cholera. He said the church as a gathering should open the doors for health personnel to educate their congregants in order to save lives.

Bishop Jeff as he is fondly known said this is time for unity and everyone should play a role in the fight.

“We as the church should work hand in glove with the authorities in the fight against cholera. We cannot continue losing lives. One death is too much, what about 25? As the church we should ensure that we have the proper information about the pandemic and invite health personnel to educate our people.

“With the right information, we can save lives. The Bible is clear, people perish because of lack of knowledge and if we are equipped with the right information, we
will save lives. We ought to be relevant in society and helping this fight is one way to be doing that,” he said.

Johanne Masowe Echishanu (Kuwadzana 4 Park) sect leader Madzibaba Spenlodge said they are taking precautionary measures to fight the scourge.

He said they have initiated a hand washing programme at their shrine.

“We will be conducting short services mainly aimed at educating people on the basics of this disease.

“We cannot allow people to die of something which we know can be avoided. Our people were prepared because we prophesied about diarrhoeal diseases before,” he said.

Highfield-based Ephias Jengeta said they are taking the cholera fight a step further.

The man of cloth who hogged the limelight by having a ‘resurrection” miracle at his church last week said the church should partner health authorities in this fight.

“We as the church should be partnering the health sector in this fight against cholera. We should not just watch while people die and the best we can do is to offer education to our people,” he said.

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