Church Bans Members From Attending Hospital

IT HAS emerged that a faith-based organization in the Akyemansa district of the Eastern region, Jesus Christ Apostolic Faith, forbids its followers from seeking medical care at the hospital when they fall ill. Besides that, children born to members of the church are barred from partaking in any nationwide health exercises such as polio immunization or vaccination programs. For them, it is a taboo. The instruction from the founder and head pastor, Peter Agyei, to the faithful flock is- look upon your Lord thy God for he is a mighty healer. Those who flout this convention are expelled from the congregation. Not even pleas from the Eastern regional health directorate have dissuaded the church from softening its stance. The church, which has branches across the country, but, is headquartered at Bosso Villa in the Akyemansa district, has its doctrine as being akin to that of other churches that restrict members from donating blood to relatives in times of such need. Speaking to the DAILY HERITAGE in an interview, head pastor of the Bosso Villa branch of the Church, Pastor Peter Agyei, said their doctrine is based on scripture. He explained that “God is mighty; hence, members should believe the word of God is a medicine that remedies all illness.” This development has prompted the Ankobeahene of Bosso Villa, Nana Keteku, to call on the Ghana Health Services to intervene as a matter of urgency to avert any needless death. The Ankobeahene said this during the launch of the Divine Mother and Child Care Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which focuses on Maternal and Child health. The Ankobeahene stated that as traditional leaders, they are worried about the situation, but, do not have the powers to impress on the church to shun its ways. The Deputy Eastern regional minister, Mavis Ama Frimpong, who expressed shock over the revelation promised to investigate the issue further since her office considers it serious. William Quaitoo, Member of Parliament for Akyem Oda constituency called on the executives of the NGO to continuously exhibit patriotism, commitment and selflessness in their quest to help the poor and the needy in the country. He called for the need for transparency and accountability on all aid received from donors to create more opportunities for donor sponsorships and funding. The President of DMAC Foundation, Edmund Duodu noted that the year-old foundation aims at implementing sustainable free maternal, neonatal and child health projects and services to reduce maternal mortality in Ghana.