WASHINGTON, D.C. – Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and Cadre des Religieux pour la Santé et le Développement (CRSD), an interfaith organization based in Senegal, have released two videos calling on faith communities in Senegal and Africa’s Sahel region to adopt new worship and health practices to stem the spread of coronavirus. Recorded in French and Wolof, the videos tell members of all faiths to preserve their health through individual prayer at home and to strictly follow the recommendations of government authorities and health specialists.
The videos were endorsed by Senegal’s Ministry of Health and will be shared via social media and through networks of CRSD and the health ministry. The Ministry of Health of Mali has also endorsed the video and will be disseminating it through its network.
“PRB and CRSD have worked together since 2017 to support and promote dialogue about the intersection of faith and family planning in the region, and to support young people’s reproductive health across Senegal, Mali, Mauritania and Guinea. Building on the positive partnership, we swung into action to produce these videos to support outreach to prevent COVID in these communities,” said Laura Wedeen, PRB’s associate vice president of international programs.
There are more than 14,000 reported cases of coronavirus infection on the African continent. In the Sahel, almost 900 cases have been reported.
“Religion has an important role to play in reducing the pandemic in our communities. By urging the faithful to pray individually at home in these video, we are assuring people that they can satisfy religious requirements and at the same time helping to sensitize communities on the need to stay healthy. This is absolutely an act of worship. Preserving one’s health is God’s command,” said Saliou Mbacke, president of CRSD.
About Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
PRB informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. Find out more at www.prb.org. Follow us on Twitter @PRBdata.
About Cadre des Religieux pour la Santé et le Développement (CRSD)
Founded in 2014, CRSD is an interfaith NGO which brings together diverse religious communities, including Islamic Associations and the Catholic and Lutheran Churches. In addition to its advocacy and awareness raising work on birth spacing in Senegal, CRSD collaborates with sister organizations across the countries of the Ouagadougou Partnership.