Prime Minister Dr the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell reached out to religious leaders across the country on Wednesday, encouraging them to be partners in Grenada’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.
About 80 religious leaders representing the various denominations, participated in the virtual meeting, which was also attended by the Minister of Health Hon. Nickolas Steele; Minister of Education and Religious Affairs Hon. Emmalin Pierre and the Permanent Secretary with responsibility for Religious Affairs Norman Gilbert.
Dr Mitchell commended the religious leaders for their general responsiveness as it relates to the pandemic and solicited their continued support in the fight against Covid-19. With vaccination identified as the key to moving forward, Dr Mitchell expressed a desire to see more church leaders actively engaged in encouraging the population to be vaccinated. To date, just over 13,000 Grenadians have received their first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while more than 4,000 have been fully vaccinated.
Dr Mitchell said, “I want to encourage you to use your public platforms to positively influence our people. You are well-respected in the community and people value your opinion. Therefore, there is a significant role you can play in encouraging persons to get vaccinated. We are working toward herd immunity but the longer we take to achieve that, means the longer we will take to get back to normal life.”
The religious leaders expressed general support for a more visible role in the process, but they cited a need for more information and made recommendations to that effect. This included presentations by health officials to members of their respective congregations and the sharing of print and video content that addresses the concerns of people.
The Prime Minister welcomed the suggestions and expressed Government’s willingness to action them as part of the joint awareness-building effort.
The 4% salary increase due to public officers was also discussed, with the religious leaders suggesting mediation and the demonstration of more wisdom as strategic actions to relieve the state of agitation that exists.
Dr Mitchell again welcomed the valuable input and assured the church leaders that Government will act on the recommendations. The Prime Minister reiterated Government’s willingness to honour its obligation to public officers and its flexibility in reaching a resolution to restore peace and stability in the industrial relations climate.