P.M. calls on churches to deliver health message

By Sarafina Sanerivi 16 January 2017, 12:00AM

Health is a top priority for many nations of the world and Samoa is no different.

The leader of the country, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, said this area remains one of the government’s main concerns for 2017. 

And in a new strategy, Tuilaepa has called on church leaders and pastors in Samoa to step up and help get the message across to the people of Samoa. 

As to why Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers shouldn’t be the ones to step up in addressing this issue, he said, “There is a good reason why I say church ministers should take the lead.

“The main reason is because they (church ministers) preach the word of God. They can preach and send this message to the people as a threat. But if we ask the M.P’s to do that, no one is scared of the M.P’s.”

Tuilaepa made this call during his weekly press conference on the 2AP Radio last week. 

“It is time for church leaders to stand up and help out the government to have a healthier Samoa.  I believe that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and obesity are real problems in Samoa, and it is time to address them.” 

“In Samoa, we have so many people who are left with just one arm or leg because their other limb has been amputated. 

“And this is a result of them eating a lot of food and having no control over what they consume.

“This is something we should really consider. The Ministry of Health has been trying to address this issue but I think once the churches turn around and support the ministry, I know our people will never get sick anymore.”

He went on to say that church ministers should start by preaching to people about their health. 

“You should remember that there is always a way to solve these issues,” he added.

“And the way to do that is to follow what the church ministers are telling us. That is, that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. 

“Therefore, if you hold on to a cigarette, the Holy Spirit will tell you to say no. If you want to drink beer, the Holy Spirit will stop you from doing that. 

Two denominations were singled out for praise by the Prime |Minister.

“These are the teachings and principles some denominations are following. Especially the Mormon and Seventh Day Adventist followers.

“And if you look at the people in these two churches, they have really nice bodies. I’ve also asked some of them about why they are well-built and have nice bodies, and they said to me, it is because they take care of their bodies as they are the temple of God.”

Tuilaepa believes all other churches should follow these principles and teachings.

“I believe that if the philosophy of Reverend Kasiano Le’aupepe and other church leaders who are fat, can cover this and follow these principles, it will be the best solution to this problem.

“There will be no more diabetes in Samoa. We will no longer have to send people to New Zealand for treatment and we will have no more obesity in Samoa.”

By Sarafina Sanerivi 16 January 2017, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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