Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3), a non- governmental organization (NGO) has called on religious leaders to promote Child Birth Spacing (CBS) in their communities.
The Bauchi state Coordinator, HC3 Nigeria, Mr Inuwa Usman, made the appeal at a one-day orientation for media health reporters on religious perspectives on maternal newborn and CBS recently.
“We engage religious scholars in the promotion of CBS to address misconceptions related to this issue in the light of Sharia and Bible teachings, in their respective communities,” Usman said.
According to him, religious leaders have positive influence in their communities to advance CBS practices when they have sound information and assistance in overcoming common misconceptions and misunderstandings.
“Child spacing help women to give space among their children, it makes the women very healthy before the next pregnancy.
“It will also give her the strength to take care of other children. So it is very important for her and the entire family members,” he said.
Usman also appealed to the religious leaders to always clarify and create awareness with regards to CBS.
“Our message to everybody is for husbands to support and encourage their wives to partake in child spacing,’’ he said.
Malam Mustapha Baba Ilehla, an Islamic scholar, noted people wrongly believe that family planning and birth spacing was forbidden by Sharia law.
“This misconception highly contributes to the gap between knowledge and practice of family planning.
“There are certain precepts in Islam that don’t have to be followed in specific cases.
“It is not just advisable but it is a must when the well-being of the mother and the child is in question,” Baballehla said.
Mr Able Musa also said, before now, many religious leaders were unwilling to openly and graciously talk about issues relating to Maternal and New Born Child Health (MNCH) and CBS.
“There is a renewed awakening in the church, making the issues of MNCH and CBS front burner in Christian discourse.
“The Christian perspective of the family is one that is made up of a husband, wife and children.
“Man is made up of a body, soul and spirit. God cares not only about the soul and spirit but also for the body,” Musa said.