The Atheists in Kenya Society on Wednesday lashed out at the University of Nairobi, asking the institution to focus on research and developing a vaccine for Covid-19.
This is after UoN announced plans to hold a virtual inter-denominational prayer day on Thursday, July 23.
Through a statement signed by the society’s president Harrison Mumia, the atheists called out the University for seeking ‘supernatural’ solutions to human problems.
“World-class universities like the University of Oxford have recently developed and are currently testing a vaccine for Coronavirus.
“We find it odd that the University of Nairobi, an institution of higher learning, is institutionalizing prayer days,” read the statement in part.
Further, the society asked Kenyan universities to channel their energies towards making significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge through research, science and innovation.
“We are not against the freedom of worship and religion…we condemn the institutionalization of prayer days at UoN.
“Sub-Saharan Africa is at the bottom of every indicator in research and world class universities. The Vice-Chancellor of the University Prof Stephen Gitahi Kiama should abolish prayer days and focus on building robust academic research systems at UoN,” read the statement.
Recently, Amref Health Africa CEO Dr Githinji Gitahi said vaccines have to go through various phases before they are used and that means they may get to Kenya even after a year.
“What you are seeing is just phase one trial…I think vaccines have to go through multiple phases for them to even say they are free to be used. Whatever you are seeing are early promising results.
“I do not think there will be any approvals of this vaccine until next year,” he said.
Elsewhere, Prof Omu Anzala also called on the Ministry of Health to explore ways of developing a vaccine locally.
With the relaxing of Covid-19 measures, in the past few weeks, Kenya has witnessed a surge in the number of positive cases recorded.