The Ministry of Health and Child Care has commended the apostolic and zionist churches for their participation in national immunisation programmes, a move that will augment efforts to reduce the country’s maternal mortality.

The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Aldrin Musiiwa said social mobilisation activities are being conducted at all levels, advocating for immunization of all children among the apostolic and zionist sects.

“Though a few are still reluctant to have their children taken to hospital on religious grounds, a significant improvement has been witnessed,” said Dr Musiiwa.

A cross section of the apostolic and zionist sect members said most of them are encouraged to seek both spiritual counsel and modern health care services.

There have been some allegations that religious teachings, doctrines and regulations of some apostolic groups emphasise faith healing and strict adherence to church beliefs and practices, thus undermining modern health care seeking.