Meatu. President John Magufuli yesterday reiterated his opposition to birth control, telling Tanzanians to continue reproducing.
Speaking at a public rally in Meatu in Simiyu Region President Magufuli told the people not to listen to those advising about birth control, some of it coming from foreigners, because it has sinister motives.
Those going for family planning are lazy, President Magufuli said, because 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 control and end up with one or two children only, he added.
“You people of Meatu keep livestock. You are good farmers. You can then feed your children. Why would you opt for birth control? These are my views, but I do not see any need for birth control in Tanzania,” he said.
He added: “I have travelled to Europe and elsewhere and I have seen the side effects of birth control. In some countries they are now struggling with declining population growth. They have no labour force,” President Magufuli, who was on a tour of Lake Zone regions said. He urged Tanzanians to keep reproducing because the government was increasing investment in maternal health specifically and the health sector in general. He said the government is about to construct 67 district hospitals countrywide.
President Magufuli was speaking in the presence of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in Tanzania Jacqueline Mahon and the minister for Health Ummy Mwalimu.
It was not the first time for President Magufuli to talk about his opposition to birth control. In 2016, soon after start of the free public education for primary and secondary schools, President Magufuli said Tanzanians can now give birth to as many children as possible because education was no longer expensive. “Women can now throw away their contraceptives. Education is now free,” President Magufuli had said.
Tanzania adopted family planning policy, which accepts various measures of birth control, in 1976, one year after the UNFPA opened its office in the country. There is no indication, however, that President Magufuli’s opposition to birth control would lead to change in policy.