WHO: An imam, a priest and the Ebola fight in Guinea

19 April, 2021

This news item from WHO Africa Regional Office emphasises the role of religious leaders in public health. Extracts below. Read online: https://www.afro.who.int/news/imam-priest-and-ebola-fight-guinea

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Gouecke, Guinea – Imam El hadj Moussa Soumahoro wears a serious face. He has just ended a morning sermon that concluded with Ebola preventive messages and the importance of vaccination against the virus that recently re-emerged in Guinea for the first time since the 2014–2016 outbreak. Soumahoro has joined the fight against the disease...

Imam Soumahoro and the Gouecke parish priest are also members of the WHO Ebola monitoring committee tasked with addressing community reluctance in Gouecke. The committee has persuaded the population to participate in disease surveillance, screening and safe and dignified burials.

“The imam and the priest play a fundamental role in strengthening social bonds within the community. They are the confidants of everyone. This confers them a special status among the faithful and the community hence the importance of including them in the committee,” says social anthropologist Camara, who helped to set up the committee...

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Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org