Vaccinations for Trust

— By Dave Klassen as relayed by Margaret Ahmed (June 2014)


The boy child (5) of Halima Muhammed, one of the women who attended the interfaith women’s group, attends Islamic school.  One day the boy overheard conversation among the Islamic teachers discussing a proposed immunization that was to take place among the students of the school.  A group of government health workers (Christian) wanted to come and immunize the students against Polio.  The Islamic teachers suspected that the government health workers would inject them with a poison so that the children would get horribly sick and would die.  They felt that this was a strategy of the Christians to reduce the Moslem population in the area.


When Halima heard this story from her son, she decided to talk to the head Islamic teacher.  She asked him why he felt that way and explained to him that contrary to his assumptions, the vaccinations would actually ward of sickness and even death of the children.  Without the vaccination, the children would get sick and would demand for resources to pay for medical treatment.


The teacher asked her if she trusted Christians.  Halima responded with an emphatic, “yes”, and explained to the teacher her involvement with the interfaith group that had brought her understanding and built trust with Christian women.  He understood her reasoning and agreed that the vaccination should go ahead.