A firm believer in childhood immunization

Pastor Jonas is mobilizing to ensure that children grow up healthy.

Thierry Vebamba (translated from French by Lorraine Valarino)
Pasteur Jonas œuvre pour la promotion de la santé des femmes et des enfants.
29 August 2019

Kamako, Sunday 12th May 2019 – Sunday is the day of worship for Pastor Jonas and yet the septuagenarian is not at his church today. While the poliomyelitis immunization campaign is in full swing, Pastor Jonas prefers to be out in the streets immunizing children.

All children aged 0-59 months and whose parents attend my church are undoubtedly vaccinated because I have already sensitized them”, explains Pastor Jonas as his justification for his cancellation of Sunday worship. For several days already Pastor Jonas and members of the village community animation cellhave been visiting households to educate them on what poliomyelitis is and why it is important to immunize their children.

While Pastor Jonas meets families who refuse immunization, he tries to convince them by listening attentively to their arguments and properly explaining to them the rationale of immunization. During the second day of immunizations, a father refused to vaccinate his 5 children, due to not having received any of the previously distributed aid for vulnerable people in the village. Pastor Jonas explained to him that he couldn’t compromise his children’s future because of this and that immunization is crucial. With a lot of determination and arguments, the father finally accepted to vaccinate his children.

I don’t sleep when children are not immunized”, affirms Pastor Jonas who does not hesitate to get up very early and return home really late in order to ensure all the children in the village are immunized. Thanks to the involvement of Pastor Jonas and hundreds of community volunteers mobilised across Kasai province, more than 570,000 children have been immunized against poliomyelitis in the month of May 2019.

Pastor Jonas has been very involved in women’s and children’s health promotion. He does not stop encouraging families to come to the health centre to ensure their children’s health. “We have to support people so that they care about women’s and children’s health” concludes Pastor Jonas.