CHRR takes on religious leaders who are blocking congregants from accessing medical treatment

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The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has urged government to amend section 45(2)(h) of the Constitution, which protects the right to freedom of belief or religion.

CHRR did this to address the issue of some people who are rejecting to receive cholera vaccination or going to the hospital when they fall sick, due to religious rules.

CHRR Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa said people should take note that human rights, such as the right to freedom of religion, comes with responsibilities that is to ensure that one is enjoying their rights without violating those of others.

In addition to that, Kaiyatsa said people who are refusing to be vaccinated are endangering other people’s lives.

However, Malawi Law Society (MLS) President Patrick Mpaka said they have not seen statistics which justify a call for constitutional amendment for such protected provisions like sections 33 and 34.

He said it is generally not advisable that people think of changing the law, let alone the Constitution, every time there is an issue.

The development has come following a case of a cholera patient man who was refusing to be taken to the hospital by the health officials due to religious beliefs in Lilongwe area 36 two weeks ago.

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