Two Muslim and Christian religious leaders, based in Gombe State, on Tuesday threw their weight behind the benefits of child spacing for a healthy family.
The clerics gave their submissions in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), shortly after a panel discussion on child spacing with stakeholders.
The event, held in Gombe, was organized by Pathfinder International, in collaboration with an NGO, Advocacy Working Group (AWG), on child spacing.
Rev. Abare Kalla, Northeast Zonal Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said child spacing encompassed all aspects of family life and the economy, “child spacing affects all spheres of life, directly or indirectly.”
According to Kalla, with child spacing, a family can give reasonable time in between the birth of the children, to allow them and their mother grow healthy, with proper care, thereby reducing the burden of family care.
“Child spacing is meant to place a family at a position of stability both economically, educationally and health wise, and whoever that goes against it, is going against the ethics of the family from the Christian perspective.
“It is not expected of you to give birth to a large number of children, abuse them, make them become beggars, thereby exposing them to the dangers of the society.
“Parents are expected to train their wards to become responsible children of the society,” Kalla said.
On his part, the Muslim cleric, Malam Da’ud Mohammed, the Imam of Federal University, Kashere (FUK), said; “child spacing in Islam is automatically permissible, but opposed to birth control, which it totally prohibits.”
According to Mohammed, child spacing is when you give intervals between child birth, but Family Planning is when you deliberately set out to control birth by limiting the number of children you are destined to birth.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO), recommends 24 months in between pregnancies. According to the world body, a shorter interval may be appropriate if the pregnancy ends in abortion or miscarriage, typically six months.
WHO, however, warned that if the mother had a prior C-Section, it was advisable to wait for sometime before giving birth again due to the risk of uterine rupture in the mother during childbirth.
It recommended a minimum inter-delivery interval ranging from a year to three years.