Tanzanian gov't says it will not abandon family planning policy

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-07 23:53:05|Editor: yan
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DAR ES SALAAM, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania clarified on Wednesday that it has no intention to abandon its family planning policy and related programs.

Some local and international organizations had misquoted President John Magufuli's recent remarks over the matter, Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Faustine Ndugulile told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma.

Ndugulile said the family planning policy is only intended to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the mother and the child.

He was responding to a question posed by Suzan Lyimo, a special seat Member of Parliament on the ticket of opposition party Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) who had inquired on the government's position on family planning.

Lyimo asked why the government has issued national guidelines restricting the use of family planning methods.

The lawmaker expressed concerns over what she termed as a growing confusion among the public and development partners over whether Tanzania intends to abandon the use of contraceptives and other methods currently in use for birth control.

Ndugulile said the government has not issued any guidelines intended to abandon the family planning program in the east African nation.

In September this year, President Magufuli reiterated his opposition to birth control, telling Tanzanians to continue reproducing.

Speaking at a public rally in Meatu, in Simiyu Region, Magufuli told the people not to listen to those advising about birth control, some of it coming from foreigners, because it has sinister motives.

He urged Tanzanians to keep reproducing because the government was increasing investment in maternal health specifically and the health sector in general.

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.

That was not the first time for President Magufuli to talk about his opposition to birth control. In 2016, soon after the start of the free public education for primary and secondary schools, Magufuli said Tanzanians can now give birth to as many children as possible because education was no longer expensive.