ENHANCING MUSLIM COMMUNITY RESPONSE ON FAMILY PLANNING AND POPULATION ISSUES
Islam as a religion has well established guiding principles and teachings that ensure total submission to the will of Allah for all adherents. In effect, the religion recognizes the existence of people and those things that affect their survival as individuals of different ages, as families, as communities and as a nation. The quality of their lives invariably affects the overall existence of a nation like Malawi. It is therefore very important that issues of interventions and needs of the citizens must be recognized and upheld. This should include the various socio-cultural values and beliefs that sustain them. The values and teachings of Islam as they affect the health status and quality of lives of the Muslim communities in Malawi should be promoted and disseminated nationwide, and in particular, the areas with high Muslim population. Muslim communities, as other contemporary communities, are also faced with family planning, early marriages and pregnancies, environment and other development challenges.
It is against this background that MAM and QMAM jointly implemented programmes and activities related to family planning and population development issues in the country. The two organizations gained a better understanding of Islam’s stance on family planning (FP) and HIV and AIDS, under the Management Science for Health (MSH) project through Reproductive Health Department (RHD) of the Ministry of Health, and implemented in collaboration. Further, the organizations proceeded to work with other partners on issues of family planning, SRHR, population and development before they started working with HP+.
In addition, the two organizations have been receiving funds from the National Aids Commission (NAC) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) to mobilize Muslim communities on issues surrounding HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). These issues were mainstreamed within the Islamic texts.
For more information about other Muslim interventions go to www.izfmalawi.org.