- Homa Bay has witnessed cases where some parents fail to take their children to hospitals because of their denomination doctrines.
- Ongola said the initiative also targets enlightening both fathers and mothers to be responsible in raising children.
Religious leaders in Homa Bay have started a campaign programme to eradicate cultural practices that prohibit members from seeking medication when sick.
The initiative is aimed at saving the lives of children and even adults by sensitising them to seek medical services at health facilities.
Homa Bay has witnessed cases where some parents fail to take their children or kin to hospitals because of their denomination doctrines.
A case was reported at the Kajwang Sub location in Ndhiwa constituency where a 30-year-old woman failed to go to hospital during labour pain because their church does not believe in taking members to hospitals.
The woman was confined in their church for prayers before their assistant chief Enos Nyawade came with a bodaboda rider to take her to Okok dispensary for delivery.
“We took action because the woman was in serious pain. I realised the woman and her foetus would lose their lives should she continue being confined in the church,” Nyawade said.
Nyawade said there was another incident where they took a man to court after he refused to take his sick wife and their daughter to hospital.
The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya with Homa Bay Catholic Relief Services and officials from the national government said they want a remedy by protecting lives through seeking medical care.
The religious leaders through Chairman Abrahams Odongo, Bishop Adede Ongola, Naima Rahman and ACCs Maureen Wamalwa and Charles Lwanga said they aim at improving lives of residents especially children aged 0-3 years.
Odongo said they are going to undertake the initiative through sensitisation in churches and other public places.
“We’re also sensitising our fellow clergymen whose denominations don’t believe in taking sick people to hospitals,” Odongo said.
He said they are going to undertake the programme in the church and at the family level by talking to residents.
Odongo said they want to enhance survival of children aged between three years and below. Homa Bay still has high maternal and infant mortality rates.
Maternal mortality stands at 362 deaths per 100,000 live births.
They encourage proper immunisation to enhance the survival of children.
“Prenatal and postnatal clinics are important in human life because they help in reducing death rates in children and women."
Ongola said the initiative also targets enlightening both fathers and mothers to be responsible in raising children.
“Let father and mother participate in bringing up children equally because they are gifts from God,” he said.