On 27th February 2023, Caritas Rwanda through the Health Department and National Family Action Secretariat held a mid-term evaluation meeting of the Family Action Strategic Plan (2019-2024), which was inaugurated by His Eminence Antoine Cardinal Kambanda.
As it was reported in this meeting, the Natural Family Planning services commonly known as NFP, have been integrated into 161 out of 216 catholic parishes throughout the country. This was achieved thanks to the collaboration between Caritas Rwanda and SNAF (Secrétariat National d’Action Familiale) through the NFP services Providers and the Family Commission at the diocese and parish level.
As challenges, many couples hesitate to choose the natural methods and prefer other methods offered by the government because they think that the natural methods are not approved by the Government. There is also a small number of staff in health centers and parishes to serve those who want to use the natural methods.
In his opening remarks, His Eminence Antoine Cardinal Kambanda commended the collaboration between Caritas Rwanda and the National Family Action Secretariat and emphasized the collection of testimonies from families who have resolved their conflicts through the NFP, for the awareness on these natural family planning methods to be successful.
His Eminence Antoine Cardinal Kambanda added that apart from helping couples in the family planning, the natural methods are also the way to receive the social education for married couples. Therefore, the Church chose it to help the family members to have a healthy life, family safety, to progress and to fulfill the responsibilities of parenthood as it should be.
Since September 2019, Caritas Rwanda, through the Health Department and Secrétariat National d’Action Familiale with the support of technical and financial partners, have put in place a Family Action Strategic Plan in order to have a specific roadmap to accelerate efforts made around Family Planning. The plan intends to reach around at least 741,600 couples using at least one natural family planning method by August 2024.
The goal is to accelerate the demographic transition; to improve the population health, especially maternal and child health, and to accelerate the country economic development in general.