With ongoing support through Unicef, Africa AHEAD is now working with 50 different church groups around the capital Harare, to spread the message of cholera prevention through handwashing with soap and general hygiene. Given that the Community Health Club approach uses the same tactic as religion to organise its members, it seems appropriate that we have at last begun to work closely with established churches, who areso good at gathering the faithful. Community Health Clubs like churchses attract committed followers at a weekly meeting to reinforce core beliefsand to build a common unity of understanding, and so we are joining forces, putting ‘Cleanliness next to Godliness’ in a combination that makes sense to worshippers, with the support of influential religious leaders in their community.
There are at present 50 church groups partaking in the programmes, from the established churches such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, and Salvation Army to the apostolic and evangelical churches of Zion, AFM Dunamis, the Jekeniseni, the Jesus Unchangable Changers, the Sheepgate, the Power of God’s word, the Pentecostal Faith Life, the Fountain of Grace, the Apostals of Christ, the Grace of God, the Tabenacle of Worship. These 50 churches account for a total of 2,005, adults and 889 children attending church each week. They are subjected to a hygiene promotion session at the end of the church service and facilities for proper handwashing.