The Most Talked about Controversial Holy Water

Thousands of pilgrims visit holy water locations in Ethiopia in search of bodily and spiritual healing. The holy water is frequently consumed by individuals as part of ritual cleansing for their bodies or the bodies of those closest to them. However, given that open defecation is a widespread practice in open fields close to holy water sites, there is a chance that these locations could be contaminated with bacteria that cause acute watery diarrhea (AWD) or other waterborne diseases. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Ministry of Health, UNICEF, OCHA, and other partners are working with WHO to make sure that latrine access and water safety are enhanced at holy water sites in order to protect the pilgrims.

Always use the restroom; wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the restroom; wash your hands completely before preparing meals; wash your hands thoroughly before eating; and fully wash raw vegetables and fruits. In AWD-affected communities, adhering to these recommendations can help save lives. But these important health messages must originate from reliable sources in order to reach the people who need to hear them.

To reach more people and save lives, WHO collaborates with community and religious leaders in Ethiopia. Churches that offer holy water are now constructing buildings to safeguard its sources as well as latrines for pilgrims to use inside their grounds.

Bishop Abune Abraham urged an audience of roughly 800 people at St Ghiorgis Church in Amhara Region, north-east Ethiopia, to practice good hygiene and use the latrines provided by the church. He emphasized to them the need of maintaining good personal hygiene and treating sacred places with respect.

Related Articles

Back to top button