Friday, July 13, 2018

At 74 pc, child poverty still high in Tanzania

Advance Family Planning (AFP) programme

Advance Family Planning (AFP) programme advocacy technical manager James Mlali pointed 

By Gladys Mbwiga @gladysmbwiga

Dar es Salaam. At least 74 per cent of children in Tanzania still live under multidimensional poverty, the Child Poverty 2016 Report has revealed.

Advance Family Planning (AFP) programme advocacy technical manager James Mlali pointed this out during commemorations of World Population Day, usually marked on every July 11.

This year’s celebration was themed: ‘Family planning is a human right’.

Briefing reporters, Mr Mlali said 74 per cent of the children in Tanzania lived in poverty something which was caused by lack of family planning, leading to having many children beyond the capacity of parents to manage well.

“Practicing modern means of family planning will help save children from living in extreme poverty because the family will have the number of children that they can manage to provide for them,” argued Mr Mlali.

He said family planning is not only important at the family level but also at the national level because failure to do so will increase the number of dependents thus causing low workforce hence hindering development in the country.

“Currently, 66.9 per cent of the population is dependent. This includes both children and elders, which means only a small number of population is capable of working. This holds back our development because only a few contribute to the country’s development,” he said.

In addition, Mr Mlali said if the population keeps growing at the current rate in 15 years, the country will require triple of all the services and resources there are currently.

For her part, Ms Leodina Kanyuma, who is the coordinator of the family planning project from Tanzania Media Women Association (Tamwa), said most women were afraid of using family planning methods because of the negative thinking there is in society.

“Many women think they will be affected by modernm means of family planning. They shouldn’t hesitate to visit healthcare facilities where they will be properly advised,” she said.