BY GERALD ALIKU
ARUA: MONDAY, AUGUST 23, 2021
The religious and cultural leaders in Arua city have made commitments to promote the uptake of family planning services.
This was during a stakeholders’ advocacy meeting on family planning organized by Marie Stopes Uganda in conjunction with Uganda Family Planning Consortium (UFPC) at Heritage Courts Hotel in Arua City.
During the meeting, Habib Aluma, the Uganda Moslem Supreme Council Regional Secretary for West Nile sub-region said family planning is one of the issues where Moslems are seen as people who are opposed to it.
He however said as Moslem leaders, they now want to come out full swing and put their position on family planning very clear to the public by supporting its uptake.
“Our scriptures and our religion defines family planning in a more comprehensive way than what we are handling as the mainstream religious practitioners. Recently, we met with our Regional Khadi and the council of Sheiks and agreed to come up with a documentation on how Islam seeks to promote the practice of family planning in the Muslim community,” Aluma declared.
Similarly, Ismail Tuku, the Prime Minister of Lugbara Cultural Institution (Lugbara Kari) said they have pronouncements about cultural practices including improvement on family planning.
“People even in my own village believe that once you say family planning, it stops people from producing children, which is a misconception,” explained Tuku.
“Then there are those who are generally negative about the issue of family planning. Competitions are high among parents on the issue of family planning; you have a lady requesting for it and the man opposes. We now need to come out and give people the correct message on family planning,” Tuku recommended.
He underscored that in their deliberations with the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, they have agreed that no elder should bless any marriage of children who are below 18 years and by the moment somebody does that, the person should be taken to court for prosecution.
Nelson Droti, a staff of Marie Stopes Uganda said the meeting was aimed at bringing these key local players together to join hands and do advocacy on sexual reproductive health with specific reference to family planning.