Vicky G. Checking Out the CCIH Conference
The following article was written by Victoria Gregg, a new member of the Cycle Technologies team who has studied in Hawaii, South Korea, and is now learning new things in her hometown of DC . 
 
As a newcomer to the Cycle Technologies team I’m doing everything I can to get up to speed on the complex world of family planning.  Last week I attended a conference hosted by Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) (www.ccih.org). The conference, “Where do Christians Stand on Family Planning? – Voices from the Global South”, was a chance to listen to health leaders from around the world share their experiences and views regarding this sensitive topic. 
 
What did I learn? 
 
I learned that the perception that Christians don’t support family planning is really inaccurate. It was an eye opening discussion with each speaker touching on recurring themes that I would like to share with you.
 
The common themes included:

 

  • Family planning is consistent with the values of many faith-based organizations that focus on strengthening families and improving the health of the communities they serve. 
  • In many places, and in particular in many countries in the developing world, religious leaders are also community leaders. It is imperative that they are onboard with family planning in order for family planning to be widely used. 
  • In male-dominated communities it can be especially difficult to teach family planning, because the husband typically makes decisions for the household.  Family planning organizations should encourage the involvement of men in their educational services when appropriate, so that couples can make appropriate decisions collaboratively.
  • Spacing between children by 2 years or more has a huge impact on maternal mortality rates, infant mortality rates, and the survival of other children in the household.
  • Family planning keeps young women in school longer which leads to many positive outcomes for the society in general, where women are more educated and better able to take care of their families.
  • Faith-based organizations can be assured that birth control methods, even ones like IUD's, do not cause abortions according to the medical community. And furthermore, family planning use reduces abortions.
  • In order to change negative views regarding family planning, you must be personal in your approach, understand opposing views and be clear with your message.

To my pleasant surprise, many of the panel speakers mentioned and displayed actual images of physical CycleBeads when discussing efforts to involve religious leaders in discussions about family planning.   I felt a sense of pride while I was sitting in the audience. I truly believe in our product and to hear influential leaders from all walks of life say that family planning saves lives and to have CycleBeads be a part of the discussion was truly amazing.




Posted in: International Family Planning, CycleBeads

Tags: CCIH, Christian Connections for International Health, international family planning

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