Kenya Muslim leaders hosts a national conference on child spacing

Kenya Muslim Youth Development Organization (KMYDO), a Network member of Faith to Action Network, on the 6th December 2016, hosted a National Muslim Leaders Conference on Child Spacing held in Nairobi Kenya. The conference brought together more than 60 Muslim leaders from Nakuru, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Nairobi and Laikipia counties for dialogue on child spacing among Muslim scholars, to review and share current interventions and trends on access to contraceptives by Muslims as well as re-formulate strategies on strengthening child spacing interventions among Muslims.

The conference was officiated by Al Hajj Adan Wachu, Secretary General, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) who is also the Chairperson of Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK). In his address, Sheikh Adan Wachu retaliated that “Islam does not say have a population explosion,” noting that Islam is interested in the quality of the population and not just the quantity. He also addressed the fact that “Muslim women are finding it hard to be attended by male gynaecologists and as a result, women are giving birth at home while the clinic is few minutes away.” Numerous suggestions were provided to address this issue including encouraging more women especially Muslim women to become gynaecologist.

This meeting was held against the backdrop of the learning caravan on Islam and Child Spacing at the Kenyan coast held in 2015 and organized by the Network together with Al-Azhar and SUPKEM. In this caravan, trained imams pledged their commitment to leverage the structures and ensure that family planning is integrated in all Muslim based events and to eliminate all harmful traditions, misconceptions and wrong information that hinder uptake, access and utilization of family planning and reproductive health services including early marriages and female genital mutilation among other five commitments.

Besides, Faith to Action Network took the opportunity to screen the documentary on the Caravan that was developed as a sensitization tool to be used by Imams to educate their faith communities.

One of the key highlights of the conference was the formation of a Family planning Muslim advocacy platform called Islamic Family Planning Advocacy Network-IFPAN that is spearheading demand creation and access to FP services while lobbying for increased funding towards FP in counties with high Muslim population.

Kenya Muslim Youth Development Organization (KMYDO) is a youth led Muslim youth organization that engages in health programs to improve the health of Muslims mainly youth, women and families through partnership with the state and non-state actors in a rights centred approach within a supportive religious framework.

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