28th January 2014

Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders were saddened to hear of the death of Ndingeko Kunene, a five-month-old baby, who died on 14 June 2012. The child died of rickets, apparently as a result of poor diet.

On Tuesday, 14 January, his mother, Virginia Kunene, pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter. His father, Nkosiyapha Kunene, made the same plea at a hearing on Monday, 27 January. They will be sentenced on Friday, 28 February.

Mr and Mrs Kunene, of Erith, south-east London, were members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at the time of their marriage in 2009. They do not appear to have attended any specific Adventist church on a regular basis after that time, or certainly in the period leading up to the birth of their child.

It would appear that during this period outside influences drew the family away from their spiritual home and the sound counsel and support that would have come to them within a supportive Adventist community. Unfortunately this led them to make health choices that were not in the best interests of their child.

Having a strong health and wellness focus the Adventist Church delivers regular health presentations and training to church members and the wider community. Adventist health professionals would always advise church members to seek and listen to medical advice.

The holistic lifestyle advocated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church is one that is recognised worldwide

The holistic lifestyle advocated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church is one that is recognised worldwide as enhancing health and decreasing the risk of many modern-day illnesses. For over 120 years Adventists have discouraged the use of tobacco, alcohol or other non-medical drugs, and many enjoy a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, avoiding in particular red meats.

Appropriate exercise, rest, fluid intake and trust in God are also part of the Adventist way. As a result Adventists are often referenced in health studies showing that a balanced, healthy lifestyle will reduce (but not necessarily prevent) the likelihood of contracting an illness or medical condition.

Believing in good health, many Adventists work in the health and care professions in the UK and Ireland, and the worldwide Church operates hospitals and health-care centres.

The prayers and support of the Church family continue to be there for all those who have been involved in this tragic case.


LATEST UPDATE: Couple sentenced 28 February 2014. Adventist reaction.

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