How Africa’s religious leaders are changing sexual health narrative

21 October, 2019

News item in Standard Digital. Extracts below. Full text here: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001346195/how-africa-s-religiou...

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'Religious leaders have shunned sexual and reproductive health discussions at the pulpit for decades – a situation that is changing.

This is as 45 per cent of health services in Sub-Saharan Africa are provided by faith-based organisations.

Anglican Provinces of Africa General Secretary Reverend Canon Grace Kaiso says the turnabout is from the conviction that all families – regardless of their religious beliefs – are entitled to lead healthy lives.

“An absence of basic family planning services deprives millions of people of this fundamental right every year,” said Reverend Kaiso who turned the blame on governments, civil society and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for the exclusion of the church from pro-family planning campaigns.

Reverend Kaiso noted that faith leaders wield greater influence and should be used to guide, inspire and lead others.

“As respected, trusted and well-known members of their communities, faith leaders are influential in guiding cultural and social norms and practices,” he said

He was speaking during a convention in Nairobi that brought together interfaith leaders and faith-based organisations from across Africa...

NICA archbishop Reverend Stephen Marete said they have also developed a syllabus around sexuality education for the new Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

He called on the Education cabinet secretary George Magoha to allow them to provide properly trained chaplains to handle the lessons in schools.

“The aim of developing this curriculum is to help manage the rising number of teenage pregnancies dropout cases in schools,” he said...

There is a wide agreement among global experts that people who have access to family planning information, services and supplies are likelier to complete their education, live more prosperous lives and raise healthier children.

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Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator, HIFA Project on Family Planning

http://www.hifa.org/projects/family-planning

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org