Officials from The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO) and the State Minister for Teso affairs Agnes Akiror Egunyu have accused Pastors of crippling attempts by health experts to fight the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, UG Christian News has learnt.
According to a state-linked news daily, Mr Charles Ekinyang, the client’s council chairperson at TASO, has called on government to close churches and prosecute Pastors who he says have stopped HIV/AIDS patients from taking medication after they were advised to seek God’s healing through prayer.
I know at least three people who stopped taking drugs after they were advised by Pastors, Mr Ekinyang said.
Akiror said some religious leaders have lured some people living with HIV/AIDS into shunning treatment, “assuring them that prayer can heal them.”
Ms Agnes Akiror Egunyu and Mr Charles Ekinyang were speaking during the AIDS Support Organisation (TASO) Soroti 14th general meeting last Friday.
The event was organised under the theme “building on 30 year’s experience in community-led HIV and AIDS programing to strengthen health systems to end the HIV-epidemic by 2013.”
“Religious leaders should preach against vices, such as alcoholism and domestic violence, which have become lead agents in the spread of HIV,” Ekinyang said.
Akiror, according to the New Vision, said “ill preachings” has suppressed government’s efforts to attain an HIV-free Uganda.
She noted that like the Government and other players in the fight against the scourge, religion, too, should be used as a major.
“Religious leaders should use their platforms to encourage people living with HIV/AIDS to adhere to medication, while praying to God for long life,” Akiror said, according to the New Vision.
The Rev. Fr Deogratious Oryangatum of Soroti Catholic Church, pledged to support the fight against HIV/AIDS and warned Christians against false preachings, which he said affect the health of an individual.
Dr Godfrey Egwau, the chairperson for Centre Advisory Committee of TASO Soroti, said they were working towards ending the HIV/AIDS by 2030, the New Vision reported.