World Vision mobilises religious leaders to fight Ebola in Hoima city

Ms Robinah Gimbo, from World Vision, facilitates at the workshop. (Image: Samuel Baguma)

As the threat of Sudan Ebola virus remains in the country as per the Ministry of Health statement, World Vision Uganda has challenged religious leaders to consider disseminating a message of the disease prevention to their followers whenever they congregate.

Speaking at the launch of the “Response channels of hope Ebola module” using church leaders at HB Hotel in Hoima city, Ms Robinah Gimbo from World Vision said, the sensitisation campaign can go a long way if religious leaders use their influence.

Speaking on behalf of the World Vision Uganda, Western Regional Programmes Manager, Ms Gimbo said the five-day training involved leaders from high risk districts of Kyankwanzi, Kiboga, Kassanda, Kakumiro, Bundibugyo, Kamwenge and Mityana to ensure that they take appropriate measures after appreciating the severity of the problem ahead.

She said World Vision Uganda decided to use religious leaders as a conduit of information dissemination since they have a big following that believes in them, are resourceful in soothing and bringing hope to people especially during life-threatening situations where the affected feel stigmatised and sometimes isolated by the community they live for being attacked by certain diseases like Ebola.

Ms Gimbo implored the participants to be ambassadors of the information they have received through sensitising their followers about what they have been taught to fight the spread of the heamorrhagic fever.

Mr David Kaggwa, the Faith and Development Manager World Vision Uganda, urged religious leaders to encourage people to go for medical checkup in case one feels unhealthy or when presents signs of the Ebola virus disease.

He also implored them to sensitise their followers about the dangers of congestion at different functions including but not limited to burial and church congregation saying encouraging their followers to congregate in large numbers with intent to amassing offertories is deadly to human life.

Religious leaders and employees of World Vision Uganda pose for a group photo after a five-day training on Ebola at HB Hotel in Hoima City. (Image: Samuel Baguma)

Mr Brian Kaboyo, the Mayor Hoima City, discouraged religious leaders from allowing their followers to be prayed for but rather seek medical attention in case they present any signs of Ebola.

The politician urged all people in different districts to be vigilant about the outbreak of Ebola,  follow measures the Ministry of Health put in place to curb its spread and report to the authorities like health workers and the police any suspected case in their areas.

Sheikh Bashir Ssensuku, the Mubende – Kasanda District Kadhi, where the disease broke out called for team work between religious leaders and the community to control and prevent the spread of the disease.

“I urge fellow faith leaders not to just go and relax after this training but be at the frontline of fighting the spread of Ebola viral disease since communities are ignorant about it.”

The Rev Dorothy Nabukera from Kiboga district, implored her fellow religious leaders to encourage their followers to follow the advice from medical workers informing them that despite Ebola being deadly, it can be cured once treated at an early stage.

She encouraged them to always advise their flock to keep healthy saying it is God’s original plan for His people to live a healthy life.

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