Nigeria Toolkit: Advocacy

Family Planning/Child Birth Spacing Champions

Interfaith Focus

Recognizing that religious leadership is very strategic and key to the success of the Family Planning response, TCI Nigeria has established active and vibrant Interfaith Forums. Some of the forum members have been identified as CBS/FP champions as well.

Driving Sustainability by Changing Religious Leaders’ Mindsets in Bauchi State

Mallam Suleiman Usman, a Muslim leader in Bauchi State.

Mallam Suleiman Usman, the Sarkin Malaman Toro of Bauchi, Nigeria, shared:

Prior to the advent of TCI, CBS [child birth spacing] was a very sensitive and delicate issue to discuss. I can remember even the health workers having issues discussing CBS with women of reproductive age because of the kind of religious interpretation that was given to it. There were misconceptions on the part of the Islamic clerics. They normally interpret CBS as controlling population. But, after our interaction with them using the Islamic Perspective and Sermon notes on child birth spacing [provided by TCI], a lot of them have now understood that spacing in between births benefits the health and wellbeing of the mother and child and is also promoted in the Holy Quran. … We are now preaching on CBS to our followers with confidence and based on evidence from the Holy Book and Hadith; now we are using every opportunity to educate more religious leaders on correct messaging of CBS based on Islamic perspective. … There is a wave of attitudinal change among the Islamic religious leaders. Some have gone a step further to get more knowledge on what the Holy Book says about CBS. Those Mallams who were against child birth spacing are now champions of CBS because the facts from the Holy Quran are very glaring. … It [CBS] is now almost freely discussed in the mosques, at learning centers and other gatherings.”



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