UMA Executive Director Returns from Reproductive Health Confab, Urges Financial Support for Sensitization/Awareness Nationwide

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Executive Director Idrissa Swaray of Unions_web.jpg

The executive director of Unions of Muslim Association of Bomi and Gbarpolu (UMABG) Counties has urged supporting partners to provide financial support to entities in Liberia in order to buttress the reproductive sector.

Director Sheikh Idrissa Swaray made the plea recently in an interview upon his return from Istanbul, Turkey where he attended a four-day conference on ‘Building A Faith-Inspired Momentum for Sexual and Reproductive Health Post 2015.’

Director Swaray disclosed that the Istanbul’s reproductive conference drew more than 100 participants to discuss critical health and other related issues at a global level.

The UMA boss said the internationally acclaimed conference brought together highly qualified scholars in the world’s distinguished religions and findings will be sent to the United Nations in New York for possible consideration.

Amongst the many topics discussed, Director Swaray pointed out; include Gender-based Violence (GBV), HIV/AIDS, Maternal Health, Family Planning, Education for Sexual and Reproductive Health.

The UMA official added that participants at the four-day conference came from Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, West, Middle East, South and North Africa.

He also indicated that the critical issues of dissemination, sensitization and awareness remain some of the serious challenges and constraints throughout the country.

“I have acquired a substantive knowledge and skills from the Istanbul conference and would greatly appreciate a sustained support from all donor partners for the successful implementation of the initiative in the country,” Director Swaray stressed.

Director Swaray further disclosed that the Istanbul conference also discussed the fundamental issue of women rights in the reproductive health sector in their respective countries.

The UMA Director also intimated that the intent and purpose of the Istanbul, Turkey conference was to seek and gather the perspectives of the world’s religions on the cardinal issues of reproductive health.

He also noted that the conference discussed specific challenges such as language, building partnerships, resources, evaluations, innovative approaches, experiences and many others relevant issues related to reproductive health.

Director Swaray also extolled the exemplary role of the United Nations Population Fund {UNFPA} Liberia’s office in facilitating his travel from Monrovia to Istanbul for that global conference.

“I want to make a specific appeal to the UNFPA-Liberia’s office for an extended support and assistance to the UMA’s leadership in order to enhance the sensitization to the Muslim Community in the country,” Director Swaray pleaded.

He added that one of the challenges becoming increasingly difficult to ignore, especially for secular development organizations, is the extent to which religion is surfacing as a critical broker of human and even governmental existence.

Director Swaray explained that there is no coordinated global faith based engagement around the diverse development priorities.

“Some areas remain highly contentious and see little coordination, activism or visibility and issues pertinent to gender equality and sexual and reproductive health are the single most contentious areas of rights in the entire development agenda,” Director Swaray concluded.

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