The Catholic Church in Rwanda has stopped the provision of some family planning services at all its hospitals and health centers across the country.The banned services include provision of birth control pills, intra uterine device (IUD), injectables, implant and contraceptives such as condoms.
The Bishop of Butare diocese and spokesperson of Catholic Church in Rwanda, Philippe Rukamba has told IGIHE that the decision was taken after holding discussions with government and reached consensus.
The cause is attributed to people’s complaints that family planning practices are potential health risks.
“It is something that needs caution. Using syringes expose people to a variety of potential negative consequences. People should not rush to practice some family planning methods if there is no nurse or other health assistant,” he said.
Bishop Rukamba explained that some people say there are some family planning methods at hospitals and health centers that come with a lot of inconveniences and discomfort.” He said that Catholic Church health centers and hospitals will mobilize people on using natural family planning methods including Fertility Awareness-based Methods (FAM) that involves teaching women about their menstrual cycle and tips on prolonged breastfeeding.
The idea which has been under discussion for four years has gone into force especially in Butare diocese.
Bishop Rukamba has said that the church should not be pressured to use pills and syringes for family planning.
“I don’t know why the government can put pressure on us yet they know citizens have their own way and there are many health centers,” he said.
Gikongoro and Kigali are some of the dioceses that have embraced the decision of suspending the use of birth control pills, syringes, and IUDs.
- The Bishop of Butare diocese and spokesperson of Catholic Church in Rwanda, Rukamba Philippe