The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), has declared that its aggressive campaign on family planning and child spacing methods and strategies is not in any way to encourage abortion.
Mr. Tunji Samuel, NURHI Senior Program Officer, Advocacy and Demand Generation, Oyo State Field Office, made the declaration recently in Ibadan at a one-day training for religious leaders on methods, choices and benefits of family planning.
While speaking at the training which had in attendance of no fewer than 50 clerics drawn from the 15 Local Government Areas covered by NURHI in the state, the Senior Program Officer disclosed that the organization since its inception in 2010 has impacted positively on methods, strategies of family planning and its benefits on the women, men and the entire family and the nation in general.
Samuel who hinted that the organization which is presently working in Oyo, Kaduna and Lagos states is also working in Senegal, India and Kenya to promote healthy living among families through the promotion of family planning.
He said the program was organized to increase the level of family planning awareness and campaign among religious leaders in the state, adding that the family planning services is free as he warns prospective clients to always patronise the designated health facilities in case of any side effect.
His words, “we are the organizers of the training for religious leaders, we want to build the capacity of religious leaders so that they will be able to preach about family planning to their congregation. We are telling them to preach to their followers on how to adopt family planning and the benefits attached to it.
“Now we are telling them that family planning is not a license to abortion neither is it for promiscuity. We discovered that very many men are accusing their wives that many of them are taking family planning for the purpose of promiscuity. We are telling them that family planning is not for abortion, it is not for promiscuity, so that is what we are telling them that family planning is for them to space their children and be able to cater for the number of the children they want to have and cater for”.
He said the need to call religious leaders to the meeting was because of their influence on their followers and congregations because religious plays an important role in the life of couples and their families.
“Religious leaders can address problems among couples directly, religious leaders can address gender issues”.
“We want religious leaders, community leaders and other stakeholders to help us and support family planning. Please, don’t preach against family planning anymore, we want a situation where women will be having safe delivery, we don’t want women to die prior, during and after pregnancy”, he continued.
The benefits according to him include those for the women, men and the society in general.
Stressing further, Mr Samuel said that the father, mother and the children will have enough time and care to attend to what they suppose to attend to.
He added that when families embrace family planning, it will help them to be “Able to receive good care and attention, promote bonding. Will not feel bored and neglected and thus will be less prone to juvenile delinquency tendencies. Will not be forced into child labour in order to help the family meet financial needs, reduction on infant illness and death as well as better health, education, clothing among others”.
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