Tanzania President’s “Why resort to birth control?” comment sparks criticism from lawmakers

  • September 11, 2018

President of Tanzania, John Magufuli recently came under criticism from lawmakers for his comments that couples in the country should shun contraceptive methods. He emphasised that it was important to reproduce for the country needed more people.

“You have cattle. You are big farmers. You can feed your children. Why then resort to birth control? This is my opinion, I see no reason to control births in Tanzania,” Magufuli said at a rally on Sunday, according to local media reports.

The critics said that the President’s words were inconsistent with the existing national policies.

The President, who himself has two children, further stated, “Those going for family planning are lazy … they are afraid they will not be able to feed their children. They do not want to work hard to feed a large family and that is why they opt for birth controls and end up with one or two children only.”

He told the people at the rally that it was ‘bad advice’ provided by outsiders to opt for birth control methods and that they should keep reproducing because the government was increasing investment in the health sector, specifically maternal health.

“I have travelled to Europe and elsewhere and have seen the harmful effects of birth control. Some countries are now facing declining population growth. They are short of manpower, ‘’ the president advised.

“Women can now give up contraceptive methods,” he added.

Tanzania has a population of around 60 million people, up from 10 million at independence in 1961.

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