Five people who had been taking anti-retroviral therapy (ART) have died after being advised by a pastor to abandon the life-prolonging treatment in Nkhata Bay.
This was revealed during a caucus organised by the National Association for People Living with HIV and Aids in Malawi (Napham), when the association summoned members of the pastors’ fraternity to express their concern over the pastor’s tendency.
Breaking the silence,village head Ngalauka Wapachanya, from Traditional Authority (T/A) Malanda in the district nearly shed tears as he described how he lost his nephew following the pastor’s directive, on the grounds that he was completely healed following a deliverance session administered to him.
The local leader even revealed the pastor’s identity.
In response chairperson of the Pastor’s Fraternity, Pastor Albert Masowo, said he was concerned with the behaviour of their fellow men of God.
“This is not good because we believe that nobody should be coerced to abandon medical treatment,” said Masowo.
He promised to summon the alleged pastor as he absented himself from the caucus.
He said: “We will summon him soon as his deeds are destroying the reputation of men of God in the district.”
Speaking in a separate interview on Saturday, Napham district coordinator for Mzimba and Nkhata Bay, Grace Mbendera, said she learnt with shock about the development.
“We expected the church to be at the forefront in the fight against HIV and Aids, but such acts by men of God are hindering our efforts.” she said.
Mbendera further- urged those on life prolonging drugs not to abandon treatment. This comes at a time 2 022 clients on ART have abandoned the life-prolonging drug.