Public health specialist at the Francistown City Council (FCC), Dr Paul Nashara has warned churches to stop baptising new converts in rivers around the city. The medic warned that the practice of baptism by immersion, preferred by certain African independent churches, could be dangerous to human health. “The water is not safe at all. We will be making a follow up to ensure that the practice is stopped now, particularly during the rainy season and at this time of cholera and bilharzia epidemic,” Nashara [said]. [...] The FCC has pleaded with people not to swim, wash clothes or bath in the rivers.
[...] Nashara revealed that quite a number of primary school going children in the low-income locations of Monarch have bilharzia, a waterborne disease. He said a survey in some primary schools is currently going on to determine the extent of the health problem.
Source: Ryder Gabathuse, Mmegi / allAfrica.com, 18 Feb 2009