Agency advocates use of contraceptives

Saturday August 18 2018
agency pic

Advance Family Planning Technical Manager, James Mlali briefs the progress of use of modern family planning methods in the country in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday. Left Tanzania Communications and Development Center (TCDC) Monitoring and Evaluation Manager Nazir Yusuph (left). PHOTO | DEVOTHA JOHN

Dar es Salaam. A family planning advocacy organisation, Advance Family Planning (AFP), says only 32 per cent of people in Tanzania use modern contraceptives.

The rest rely on traditional methods, which are largely ineffective in curbing unplanned or teenage pregnancies.

Speaking ahead of the World Contraception Day, which is due on September 26, AFP used findings of a 2015/16 study in Tanzania to evaluate the state of family planning uptake in the country.

AFP Advocacy manager James Mlali said the use of traditional methods largely contribute to the increasing rate of unplanned pregnancies.

“Most women still prefer outdated contraceptives methods like the calendar, but this has negative effects on their health and national demographic planning. I wonder why they shy away from condoms, intra uterine devices and implants,” said Mr Mlali.

He said the use of modern contraceptive methods could help save lives of over 44 per cent of women and 35 per cent of children.

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The modern methods, according to experts, help a woman to concentrate on income generating activities, adding that they are user-friendly.

Revelations by AFP show that Lindi, Mtwara, and Ruvuma are the leading regions in the use of modern contraceptive methods while the regions lagging behind are Geita, Simiyu and Katavi.

Mr Mlali said, according to a 2010/11 survey, Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions, were not doing well in the use of modern contraceptive methods.

“Mothers are so much concerned about body changes, which they believe are caused modern family planning methods,” he noted.

Mr Mlali added: “Women don’t like pot bellies, which they believe are caused by contraceptives. However, there is no established truth on their claims,”

Nonetheless, Mr Mlali cautioned that there is no drug in the world that has no side effects.