Presentation on theme: "Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) Conference"— Presentation transcript:
1 Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) Conference Biblical Reflections on a Call to Action for Reproductive Health/Family PlanningChristian Connections for International Health (CCIH) Conference27th-29th May 2006Dr. Gloria Ekpo (MD, MPH)
2 Outline Definitions Overview of RH/FP Burden of Reproductive Health Historical background on RHInter-faith perspectives on RHBiblical Reflections on RH/FPChallenges in delivery of RH/FP in FBOsCall for Action for RH/FPRecommendation and Conclusion
3 ObjectivesUnderstand some of the basic concept and current issues on RH/FPReview of Biblical evidence for and against RH/FPExplore Actions to reinvigorate RH/FP especially in FBOs
4 Definition of Reproductive Health Defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity in all matters relating to the reproductive health system and to its functions and processes at all stages of life.(Spiritual well-being is implied Biblically)Source: WHO. Reproductive Health Strategy. 2004
5 Implications People are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life; Capability to reproduce;Freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so;Right of men and women to be informed;Right to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice;Right to appropriate health-care services that enable women to safely go through pregnancy and childbirth.Source: WHO. Reproductive Health Strategy. 2004
6 Definition of Family Planning Implies the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births through contraceptive methods and treatment of involuntary infertility.Family Planning MethodsNatural and Artificial methodsShort-term and Long-term methodsMale and/or Female controlled methodsSource: WHO. Reproductive Health Research. 1994
7 Overview of RH/FP Services Core Reproductive and Health Services:Improving antenatal, peri-natal, post-partum and newborn care;Providing high quality services for family planning including fertility services;Eliminating unsafe abortion;Combating STI, including HIV, RTI, Cervical Cancer and other gynecologic morbidity;Promoting sexual health
8 Burden of Reproductive Health Maternal deaths: 529,000 die yearlyChild mortality: 10.6 millionMore than 120 million couples (in developing countries) have unmet need for safe and effective contraceptionAbout 80 million women every year have unintended and unwanted pregnancy, some from contraceptive failureSource: WHO. Reproductive Health Strategy World Health Report 2005
9 Historical Background on RH/FP Before 1930Christian denomination united in firm rejection of contraceptives1930- Lambeth Conference, EnglandDeparture from unanimous prohibition against contraceptionUse of artificial contraception advocated when abstinence was deemed impracticableAfter 19301961:Liberal policy on contraception declared by National Council of Churches;Subject to mutual consent between couplesSource: Kathleen O’Grady. Contraception and Religion. Encyclopedia of women and world religion. 1999
10 Inter-faith Perspectives on RH/FP No uniform position on contraception within each of the religious traditions.Roman Catholic Church1930: Casi Connubii- Pope Pius XI.1968: Humanae vitae – Pope Paul VISanctions Abstinence and Natural Family Planning MethodsOrthodox ChurchesAllows married couples to make their own decisions on contraceptionCondemns abortion, infanticide and permanent contraception.Source: Kathleen O’Grady. Contraception and Religion. Encyclopedia of women and world religion. 1999
11 Inter-faith Perspectives on RH/FP 2 Jewish ReligionAccepts abstinence as the only permissible birth control method except where health reasons apply.Islamic FaithVariation on attitudes to contraceptionTraditionally permits the use of birth control on health groundsUnanimous rejection of sterilization and abortionHinduismEncourages prolific procreation within marriageNo prohibition against birth controlSource: Kathleen O’Grady. Contraception and Religion. Encyclopedia of women and world religion. 1999
12 Inter-faith Perspectives on RH/FP 3 Common Concerns by major religions on birth controlFear that contraceptive use will encourage immorality and illicit sexLiberal contraceptive policies may encourage model of living that would destroy family and family valuesFeministView prohibition on birth control as a means to control female sexuality and independence
13 Reflections from the Bible on RH/FP Fertility“Be Fruitful, Multiply and Replenish” Gen. 1: 27-28Rachael, Leah and Mandrakes: Gen 30:14-16Children as Heritage: Psalms 127:3ContraceptionOnan’s experience: Gen 38:6-10“Subdue the earth …. And have Dominion over….”Gen 1:27Infertility:Rachael- Gen 30:1;Hannah-1 Sam 1: 1-8Elizabeth- Luke 1:36Abortion and Infanticide: Exodus1:16, 21:22, 23:26
14 Reflections from the Bible on RH/FP 2 Abuse of Reproductive HealthRape- Dinah and Tamar- Gen 34:1-2; 2 Sam 13:1-20Wife Inheritance: Gen 38:6-10Adultery: Exodus 20:14; John 8:10-11Homosexuality: Gen. 19:5; Romans 1:23-29
15 Challenges in the delivery of RH/FP services Barriers:Gender Inequalities-Nutrition, healthcare, educationViolence against women-physical, sexual, emotionalAccess to health servicesLack of youth friendly reproductive health servicesPovertyCultural barriersReligious barriers
16 Call for Action: Role of FBO in Reinvigorating RH/FP Encourage dialogue and communication;Active involvement of men in reproductive health issues;Involvement of youths RH issuesProvide information for informed choice on RH matters;Reduction/elimination of man-made barriers to access to reproductive healthcare;
17 Call for Action for RH/FP…2 Advocacy Action on reproductive health matters;Operational Research on RH services delivery;“Throwing the First Stone” concept versus “No condemnation ” strategy. John 8:10-11Respect for dignity for the human life;Education and improvement of status of the woman.
18 Recommendation Engage the Church on regular dialogue on RH; Encourage Family-centered reproductive healthcare services;Engage and address youth RH needsAdvocate for holistic and comprehensive RH care;Involve women in decision-making process in RH.
19 ConclusionHolistic approach to RH/FP within Biblical context is feasible.