The role of local council members in promotingReproductive health and family planning [Archives:2005/859/Health]

July 14 2005

By Fahmia AL-Fotih
For the Yemen Times

Lately, Yemen Family Care Association (YFCA) organized a workshop for the members of the local councils in Sana'a and Amran governorates. This workshop came within the advocacy campaign for reproductive health and family planning.

Ms. Jamila AL-Sharei, officer programs, gave a brief account about the workshop “one of the YFCA activities is advocacy and to spread awareness about health issues, so today the YFCA organized a meeting for the members of local councils and decision makers in the rural areas that the YFCA works in through the mobile clinics. We have two fully-equipped mobile clinics that move to more than 40 rural areas and introduced various medical services for the mother and child. The YFCA usually holds such activities to get the support of the interested bodies and to understand the health issues and the nature of the YFCA's job.

Today we have around 40 members of local councils and they have been informed about the jobs of the mobile clinics and given an idea about the YECA goals, activities and services as well as about the true meaning of reproductive health and family planning. We have some doctors today to deliver these themes like Dr. Yahya Al-Abhar who will give a lecture about the importance of the reproductive health besides Sheikh Hassan Al-Sheikh who will present a paper about Islam and family planning. After the meeting today, we expect a good coordination between the medical consultants and the local council members that are likely to find out other areas derived from the medical services that YFCA offers.”

About other YFCA other activities, she continued “We had previously a similar meeting with the local councils members in Yareem district who had a general idea about the YFCA activities, population issues and reproductive health to cooperate with us and our activities in their district. We have other meetings in other governorates. We had workshops for men and women in AL-Biada about reproductive health. While we held a 5-workshop for the medical consultants about the sexual-infection diseases HIV/AIDS. We have plans to do similar workshops in other governorates. YFCA targets all the society sector and focuses mainly on youth to prepare some training and programs to raise awareness among them. We cherish to contact all the society members and deliver a true health message.”

Sheikh Hassan AL-Sheikh, a lecturer, spoke about the theme of his paper “My lecture today talks about the Islamic view to family planning. The family is the core of any society society. Family planning is needed and it is beneficial for the mother and the child as well. We do not meanfamily planning to prevent the birth or to specify a number of births for each family. There are cases in which family planning can be applied. For instance if the mother is sick, it is not acceptable to scarifice her health and life to have a baby. If the mother is still so young or thin, she must delay pregnancy until she is ready. One the other side, the child has to take enough care, enough education and health care, which cannot be achieved if the parents have more than a child. So it is recommended to delay the second birth to let the first child take all his rights for at least 2 years. It is not the matter of how many children you have but the matter of how good, healthy and educated children you have. But the problem is how to deliver these concepts to the people. There are different channels such as mosque preachers and spreading guidance and awareness via the media and all the governmental and non-governmental organizations. Besides, these concepts can be earlier integrated and taught in schools. The government bodies should adopt these crucial issues for having a healthy mother and child and good society.”