The response of the Somali Muslim Community to modern family planning practices in Garissa district
Abdi, Siyat Hillow
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The study was mainly concerned with the response of the Somali Muslim community of Garissa District, North Eastern Province to modern family planning practices. The purpose of the study was to: identify and discuss the response of the community to modern family planning practices, determine the community's familiarity to the practices, assess the compatibility of the practices with social, cultural, economic and religious life of the community, identify and examine the traditional methods of family planning practices and suggest ways of making modern methods of family planning acceptable to the community. The research is significant in creating awareness among policy implementers (Government of Kenya and NGOs), on the need to formulate policies that are contextually relevant to specific communities. The investigator focuses on the Islamic concept of family planning as the theoretical framework. This is based on Islamic sources of Sharia (law), the Holy Quran, the Hadith and Ijma'a (consensus). The principles of Qubul (consent), niyat (intention) and dharura (necessity) were used in the field to test the response of the community to the practices. Both primary and secondary sources of data were by the researcher. The data were synthesized and categorized according to themes of the study. Descriptive statistics and tables were used to analyze and explain the features of the study. It was found out that there was a negative response by the community to modern family planning practices. The community was aware of modern family planning practices but there was a general resistance to the use of modern contraceptives. The applications of modern family planning practices were affected by the social, cultural, economic and religious status of the community. Traditional methods of family planning were found to be acceptable in the present social, cultural, economic and religious context of the community. However, they were viewed as unreliable. Policies that incorporate Somali traditional beliefs, Islamic precepts and socio-economic realities were found to be effective in increasing the acceptance and use of modern family planning practices in the district. Finally, the study gave recommendations for policy and areas of further research.