By Elias Hakizimana.
Religious leaders in Rwanda have kicked off a debate on the new enacted law about sexual reproductive health and urged to advise their Christians how they can plan their future without unwanted pregnancies and other negative effects on health.
The debate that gathered different churches on Friday August 31, 2018 involved discussions about the law that was enacted. It is about sexual reproductive health law on which religious forum have been sharing ideas.
Tom Mulisa, the executive secretary of Great Lakes Initiative for Human life and Development(GLHID) said they have an MOU with Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) and Rwanda Religious forum on how raising awareness about health policy.
“We have to give them updates about the laws in health and government policies. Sometimes religious forum remains behind in participating in laws formulation. We will be monitoring the process so that you get updates and get opportunity to provide ideas on it when it is still in parliament,” said Mulisa.
He said that laws on sexual reproductive health are there but nothing is done in ending health effects due to misunderstanding of the issue. “It is the reason why we have want to engage religious leaders as they meet with a mass of people that are over 90 percent of the entire population of Rwandans.
Bishop John Rucyahana, the leader of Rwanda Religious Forum said that the collaboration with the great lakes initiative is a good foundation for giving ideas on trending laws.
“We should share our ideas on all bills in parliament, analyze them and learn from them on how we can also teach the community. The laws that are mostly in foreign languages should be translated into local language and make use of them so as to match it with daily life corners,” Rucyahana said, adding that they will conduct a conducive research on sexual reproductive health to help restoring the community that is losing a healthy generation.
The Chief Gender Monitor at Gender Monitoring Office, Rose Rwabuhihi said that they laud the step of analyzing the sexual reproductive health law.
“It is good step to analyze the laws and advise us on them as part of efforts to help us understand them in order to also help community understand them and fight diseases,” Rwabuhihi noted.
“Most of people, youth have no information about reproduction cycles yet it does not require to study a lot of science. Research shows that lack of sexual reproductive health information lead to unwanted pregnancies and contamination of diseases. Again, social media has taken all youth’s attention and impeded the physical interaction with parents so that they are advised on sexual reproductive health,” she added.
Rwabuhihi said that the research revealed that sexual reproductive health services are still considered as a secret, where people are being given wrong information because they get it from wrong sources.
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