Religious Leaders under their Non-Governmental Organizations; Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau (UPMB) and the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau (UCMB) have changed their position on Family Planning awareness campaign in the country.
Previously religious leaders have opposed family planning quoting the bible.
However, meeting on Friday with the Parliamentary Health Caucus Committee in Kampala, Mityana Diocese Health coordinator Rev. Moses Ssemugooma, in his opening remarks said the church, after thorough consultations with different stakeholders, has come to accept that family planning is not actually a sin, as it has been portrayed by some church Leaders.
Referring to a verse in the Bible; John Chapter 10 verse 10, Ssemugooma quoted Jesus Christ to have said: “I came so that you may have life and I bring it in abundance”.
He added that family planning, when well-practiced guarantees a healthy family full of life and that is what God expects from us.
UPMB Executive director, Dr Tonny Tumwesigye, said traditional faith is not against family planning, adding that Ugandans should practice safe family planning so as not to annoy God.
He said fertility awareness methods have been welcomed by women and men in both rural and urban areas.
“Increasing accessibility and availability of modern fertility awareness methods can help to reduce unmet need for family planning in Uganda, since they provide options for women who do not use family planning due to fear of side effects, health reasons, cultural or religious prohibition and those who simply want natural methods”, he said.
He read out the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau guide book on Fertility Awareness Methods, whose mission statement says: “In faithfulness to the mission of Christ, we provide professional and sustainable Health services
through partnership to enable the population live their life to the full”.
The Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS Ayek Judith, MP for Kole district, reiterated the need for increased awareness campaign on family planning, especially in rural areas. “Family planning campaign should also include sensitising families on teenage pregnancies, because it’s a major challenge at the moment”, she said.