Samia Suluhu, the president of Tanzania, has urged women in the country to use birth control to reduce the nation’s high birthrates. President Suluhu expressed concern about the rise in births while on a visit to the western region of Geita,
“Yesterday I was told in Buselesele ward in Geita region, one (health) centre produces 1,000 children a month,” she said
“Now how many classes will be needed after three years? What of health centres – how many will be needed to serve all these children? How many tonnes of food will be needed? Let’s reduce the speed and have a control on this.”
However, President Suluhu’s argument stands in sharp contrast to that of her late predecessor,The late President Pombe Magufuli.According to reports, Magufuli called families who use contraceptive methods “lazy,” noting that the nation needs more citizens.
“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 said at a public rally in 2018.
“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 on manpower,” he noted.
According to a World Bank estimate from 2020, Tanzania had a fertility rate of 4.8 births per woman. The high birth rate was attributed to early marriages and low use of contraception. Tanzania has a population of around 60 million people, with 49% of them living on less than Ksh.242 a day.
BY ISAIAH WASWA