THE Ministry of Health has cleared Jehovah’s witnesses of the earlier allegations that they rejected the ongoing anti-malaria spraying.
This was said in a meeting between top officials from Jehovah’s witnesses, spraying teams and the Ministry earlier this week.
Field reports recently quoted by the State Minister in-Charge of HIV/Aids and other infectious Diseases, Dr.Innocent Nyaruhirira, stated that Jehovah followers had claimed that the Indoor residual spraying (IRS) contradicts their faith doctrine.
New reports from the spraying teams say that Gelliadi witnesses (Temoins de Gelliadi), a religious sect was the one that openly rejected the spraying exercise but not Jehovah witnesses as earlier reported.
Gelliadi is a sect that is said to have broken way from the Association des Eglise Pentecoste au Rwanda (ADEPR).
The religion in question, does not participate in all government programs including communal work (umuganda), do not go for health services and for that matter discourage their followers from enrolling in health insurance, mutuelle du sante.
Eric Kayoge Rutoni the Manager of operation, Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), Gasabo District said they could not differentiate between Jehovah and Gelliadi since they are all witnesses, adding that the Gelliadi strongly resisted the spraying exercise.
“We however later conducted a survey with the legal representatives of Jehovah in areas that were sprayed and found out that those who had rejected were not Jehovah’s witnesses but another sect called Gelliadi,” Kayoge said.
The areas where the spraying team faced strong resistance from the Gelliadi followers include Kibenga cell in Ndera Sector, Cyaruzinge Sector in Gashuri and Gatare, Gatsata, Muhima and Tetero.
The US government is funding a pilot spraying through the Presidential Malaria Control Initiative (PMI), in Gasabo, Nyarugenge and Kicukiro districts with the highest malaria prevalence and will next year extend to Kirehe District in Eastern Province and Nyanza District of the Southern Province respectively.