Many of Islamic Relief’s offices in the field have already identified the need for reproductive health projects in the communities where they work and have begun projects that raise awareness of safe sexual health practices and the provision of mother and child healthcare. However, the scope to do more is great.
As a Muslim organisation with vast experience in the delivery of healthcare and links to religious scholars, Islamic Relief is in a strong position to change attitudes and influence behaviour in communities. Despite the often controversial nature of many aspects of reproductive health, it is at the core of Islamic Relief’s mandate to address these issues and to develop suitable projects in the field.
It is very often women and girls who face the greatest burden related to a lack of adequate reproductive healthcare, including medical problems during pregnancy, child birth and abortion, increased vulnerability to sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS and greater risk from harmful practices. As a result, the majority of Islamic Relief’s reproductive health work focuses on meeting and advocating for their needs.
However, Islamic Relief also acknowledges that men have an important role to play in reproductive health projects, but that their role has traditionally been limited. Providing information about safe sexual practices, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and knowledge of family planning methods can ensure good reproductive health for men and their partners.
Islamic Relief takes a holistic approach towards providing reproductive health information and care, and where possible we will incorporate information into a wider educational context. All messages will be delivered in a culturally sensitive manner and often with reproductive health as part of a broader health education programme.
Islamic Relief has set up and supports numerous health centres as part of their emergency relief and development programmes. Through these clinics we provide information about family planning methods. We increase knowledge about obstetrical issues, safe delivery and dietary practice, increase the provision of ante natal and post natal care and treatment, and increase the ability to deal with the prevention, detection and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.