By Alice Lubwama
Representatives of different religious organizations have launched an interfaith alliance which will coordinate faith based organizations that will promote family planning.
The launch was done at the end of the two day national family planning conference which took place at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
The alliance will also be used to mobilize funds to support family planning services and building capacity for religious leaders as family planning champions.
The Catholic Church was represented by sister Jacinta Mukamalimpa from Kyenjojo diocese, the Anglican Church was represented by Bishop Amos Magezi of North West Ankole diocese, while the Pentecostal church was represented by Pastor Joseph serwadda and Sheik Mohammadali Waiswa the deputy mufti Uganda Muslim supreme council represented the Muslims.
The deputy mufti Uganda Muslim supreme council Sheik Muhammadali Waiswa said that although it is a taboo to talk about family planning within the Muslim community, with the continuous mobilization and sensitization of the people by the religious leaders, the Muslim community is now receptive to family planning and now regularly access the services.
Speaking on behalf of the Pentecostal churches, the Presiding Apostle of Born Again faith, Pastor Joseph Serwadda said that the Bible supports planning; it’s the reason why a number of people in the old testament got children at the late age. Serwada further said that Family planning is Godly but it should be managed by the people who understand it.
Reverend Moses Semugooma who represented the Anglican Archbishop elect Bishop Stephen Kazimba Mugalu who is also a family planning champion said that the religious leaders need to support the family planning services so that mothers can get information to make the right decision.
Semugooma noted that if the leaders come out openly to speak about family planning, they will have a healthy population who will support the church.
He revealed that the Anglican Church has already committed to promote health and through Mityana diocese, the church supported the district local government to develop the family planning implementation coasted plan now being used as reference point for the entire country.
“It was Mityana diocese church of Uganda through faith for family heath initiative and population action international that came out to support the district to have the family planning implementation coasted plan. He emphasized.
Speaking at the same function ,the executive secretary of the catholic medical bureau Dr Ronald Kasyaba said that there are scriptural references that support the catholic church on family planning but the deference has been on the methods used.
However, he said that the church is now coming out strongly to do the promotion of the effective modern methods that are consistent with the doctrine of the Catholic Church, like standard day’s method, lactation amenorrhea method for breast feeding mothers and the 2day method. “There is no choice the priests should talk about the benefits of family planning, but we are not teaching them to practice and tell the people which method they use but tell them where to go. He said.
The board chairperson of Faith for family health initiative Jackie katana said, there was need to engage the religious leaders to spread the gospel on family planning services after a study on the status of family planning indicated that communities were not getting the right information and counseling on services.
She has however urged the ministry of health to target the resource allocation to demand generation and community mobilization.