7 May 2021 | The Adventist Church in Zimbabwe has joined an interfaith effort to encourage the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the country.

The Adventist leaders joined officials from Christian, Islamic and the African Traditional Religions in a dialogue with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) in partnership with Apostolic Women Empowerment Trust (AWET).

“UNICEF’s Global Faith for Positive Change Initiative recognises the central role and influence of religious leaders in behaviour and social change communication. Through the partnership with AWET, over 850 interfaith and community leaders have been trained to support engaging and mobilizing their communities about integrated COVID-19 prevention and continuity of essential health, nutrition, education, child protection and WASH services. The initiative aims to reach 5 million people across all provinces of Zimbabwe,” explained the publication Newsday.

The dialogue allowed the religious leaders to reflect on misinformation, distrust as well as social, religious and cultural barriers keeping people from vaccination.

“Understanding and addressing these barriers is key for our partnership with local faith actors, increasing their abilities to counter false claims or address religious questions or other sensitive topics,” said AWET National Director Tendayi Gudo according to Newsday.

“With this knowledge, I am going to play a leading role in challenging misinformation circulating through our congregation platforms and social media space by promoting trust in accurate information sources such as Ministry of Health and Child Care and UNICEF,” said Phyllis Manungo, an Adventist representative, about the interfaith dialogue.

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