CHILD IMMUNIZATION AMONG “RESISTING FAITHS” IN KISUMU
My name is Pastor Joshua Odhiambo of Normiah church. (The resisting faith group) I attribute the success of round two polio campaigns to religious dialogue and education. I remember the dialogue process it was on a Friday and we were invited by Homa bay interfaith network members to the SDA church, there we talked about the importance of immunizing our children, Biblical interpretations, myths and misconceptions surrounding the vaccinations among others. We were given IEC materials bearing our leader immunizing a child and during our Sunday service we urged our members to take their children to be vaccinated. I personally participated in the door to door campaign for the same after I was convinced by the religious leaders. It was a great success!
From where we stand, with proper and consistent engagements with the resisting faiths, this challenge can be eliminated in Kenya. Local Interfaith networks play a critical role in bridging the gap between health workers and resting faith groups as pastors we must embrace both prayers and modern medicine. I urged my fellow pastors to sensitize our members to allow their children to be vaccinated with correct information and consistent awareness creation the issue of resistance to immunization will be a thing of the past.