Secret burial of 8 measles victims at night by Zion Church in Sinazongwe District, Southern Province, has shocked Family Development Initiatives (FDI).
Zambia Daily Mail newspaper yesterday reported that about 10 people had died from suspected measles while several others were battling with the disease following an outbreak in Sinazongwe District after a group of Mount Zion Church members from Zimbabwe allegedly transmitted the ailment.
Reacting to the Media Report, FDI Team Leader Sheikh Yusuf Ayami warned that the belief by the church not to use conventional medicine would not help in addressing the measles outbreak.
“As an organization that promotes the well being of families, we are very shocked that we could have religious organizations outside there that are encouraging their members not to access medication where need arises,” he said.
The FDI Team Leader said religious organisations needed to work closely with Government to promote good health.
“This is why we see organisations such as Churches Health Associations of Zambia (CHAZ) contributing over 37% of health services in the country as a way of complementing Government efforts,” he said.
The Clergyman revealed that faith based organisations like FDI were involved in promoting healthcare services such as polio vaccination, measles elimination and prevention of COVID – 19.
“When you have a faith based organization that is discouraging it’s membership from using conventional medicine to address a health concern, it becomes worrying for us,” he said.
Sheikh Ayami urged Government to fully investigate media reports that those infected with the disease were being locked in houses and treated using a herbal concoction.
The Clergyman is disturbed by media reports that the church had gone further to secretly bury eight of the victims in the late hours of the night.
He urged the Ministry of Health to step up surveillance efforts in Sinazongwe District to contain the outbreak.