Bringing together non-believers
The number of patients rejecting treatment because of their religious religious beliefs is on the increase and Kenyan doctors are getting worried. This is according to Vera Okeyo, a journalist with the Daily Nation, Kenya (Story on Pg 3 of DN 5th Jan, 2016) who interviewed medical doctors from across the country. ) The doctors, mainly from public hospitals said they get at least one case every month for a patient risking his life by refusing to take treatment based on his faith in god.
This is unimaginable in the 21st Century, but guess what! It is happening! And its sadly happening in Kenya, a third world country where we have a vision to improve the overall health of Kenyans. Our counties are struggling to ensure that Kenyans gain access to affordable health so as to guarantee health to the majority of Kenyans, who are poor anyway, and yet some are refusing medicine!! I find it sickening that in a third world country, poor people would prefer faith to science. Prayer to medicine. This is the most recent case of how religion sucks!
In short, we have Kenyans are simply refusing to take medicine, because they prayed and are waiting upon the ‘Lord’ to heal them. If I was a doctor, … if I was a doctor in these public hospitals, and such a patient came to me and refused to take medicine, I would allow him to try his god. Especially if he is really in pain. I would just let him/ her to pray, while I attend to more urgent cases. Maybe they will see the point!
And this is the problem with superstition and faith, and religion. One of the meanings of superstition in the Oxford English dictionary is a belief that is unfounded or irrational. For me, all religious belief as unfounded and irrational, I consider this a case of absolute irrationality. The fact that Kenyans can even refuse medicine, even for life threatening diseases like diabetes makes me believe that religion is the most widespread and dangerous form of superstition in Africa.
We must discourage faith healing. We must discourage faith healers and challenge the entire concept with utmost force, because as Sam Harris puts it, faith is the one thing that can bring war, when stakes are high. It can cause death, unnecessary death. Faith can make someone do things that are a threat to them and others around them. To really get to the root of the faith problem in Kenya, we we must improve our educations system, we must promote secularism in Kenya. The media should play its role as an agent of education and information, especially TV. Sometimes I wonder why we give so much airtime to preachers on Sundays instead of providing more educative, science based content!
Finally, we must encourage open debate on religion. We must appreciate that in order to progress as Kenyans, we cannot be people who still believe that healing can occur through faith in a god!
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