Dr. Mtisunge Kachingwe on religion`s role in combating HIV. 
Photo: Norway UN / Mariken B. Harbitz .Dr. Mtisunge Kachingwe on religion`s role in combating HIV. Photo: Norway UN / Mariken B. Harbitz

-Dialogue must extend cultural and religious boundaries

Last updated: 3/11/2014 // An important discussion on faith and culture`s role in combating HIV and promoting sexual reproductive health rights took place at the UN Headquarters today.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hans Brattskar held the introductory remarks at the paneldebate, where he further emphasized the importance of an open debate on this matter; – An open dialogue that extends the boundaries of faith, culture and religion is crucial, said Brattskar.

Dr. Mtisunge Kachingwe from Malawi was one of the panel participants. With a background working with HIV patients Kachingwe stressed the importance of preventive work. The panel's moderator, Hendrica Okondo, followed up by pointing out how it might be easier for faith based communities to talk about love rather than the actions of love. 

-What they preach should always be grounded in compassion and inclusion, Kachingwe stated several times, advocating for how religious organizations can play a positive role in preventing and responding to HIV.

Haldis Kårstad from the Norwegian Church Aid argued that health is heavily underfunded and referred to estimates by WHO showing that one billion people will never visit a health worker for care.   

The debate was convened with representatives from the World Council of Churches, YWCA, ARROW, UNFPA, and the Norwegian Church Aid.

 



 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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