Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Inter Religious Council of Uganda-IRCU has rolled out a countrywide HIV/AIDs awareness campaign.
The campaign, which involves community dialogues and HIV/AIDs testing, was unveiled Thursday morning at Busiro landing site in Namayingo district.
Under the campaign, IRCU partners are expected to mobilize a team of health service providers from different religious groups to voluntarily offer medical services to communities.
Charles Serwanja, the IRCU Health Program Manager, says it is the mandate of religious leaders to use their platforms to sensitize their communities on the HIV/AIDs epidemic.
He argues that faith based institutions cannot add value to their congregations without ensuring their wellbeing.
Serwanja also says that most religious leaders have shunned health promotion programs, which ensure sustainability of their faith ministries, adding that IRCU is just mobilizing them to wake up.
He further stresses that, some pentecostal church leaders are found of discontinuing their congregation from the uptake of ART treatment due to competition among themselves.
Serwanja warns that, IRCU is coordinating with various local governments and resident district commissioners to arrest pastors who mislead HIV patients with promises of miracle healing.
John Wandera, the Secretary Namayingo District of Born Again Faith Federation, says their congregation is reluctant to follow health campaigns presented in church.
“We have done the initiative of sensitizing different church leaders on the relevance of HIV awareness campaigns but they have always informed the secretariat that Christians prefer churches, which preach miracles to those with medical campaigns. Therefore to maintain the congregation, most of them have chosen silence on HIV issues,” he said.