Church leaders asked to preach health from the pulpit

Church leaders asked to preach health from the pulpitNurse Van Bergen talking at a healthcare community committee meeting recently.

Community health care workers and religious leaders in Douglas, Northern Cape have joined hands to help improve health care and education in the community.

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Nurse Van Bergen talking at a healthcare community committee meeting recently.
Nurse Maria van Bergen, who is one of only two nurses who work at the clinic.

A dialogue was held recently at Douglas’ Breipaal Clinic by the community health care committee that was set up by the clinic to engage with the community on ways to improve health education and services.

At the meeting, health care workers reached out to church leaders in the hope that they would educate on health matters from the pulpit.

Educating and informing the community, struck by HIV and tuberculosis among other health issues, is one of the big tasks set by the committee. It is looking at numerous ways, including door-to-door campaigns and talks at schools and churches, to improve the situation.

Priest Johannes Peterse from The Gospel Messengers Church said he believed that church leaders had a role to play in the health of the comunity.

“We need to inform people about their health issues and help them understand the different ways to deal with health issues,” Peterse told OurHealth.

“The only way to fight the battle of illness is if we work together,” said Nurse Maria van Bergen, who is one of only two nurses who work at the clinic.

Griet August is a community health worker who, despite her own illness that causes pain in her feet, works with the sick in the community walking far and wide daily to service the community.

“I understand how hard it is for people to watch those they love suffering because the person does not want to go for help,” said August, who believes educating the community can help in these areas. August has worked as a health care worker since 2010.

Community member Leon van Wyk said the committee needed dedicated people to serve on it for it succeed in its hopes of bettering health in the community.

All agreed that the way forward was “committed” work with “everyone from all sectors joining hands”.