Tanzania's John Magufuli Advises Against Birth Control


President John Magufuli has advised Tanzanian couples to stop using contraceptive methods, saying that the country needs more people, according to local media reports.

"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 Meatu on Sunday.

Magufuli, who has two children, said it was "important to reproduce" and warned Tanzanians against what he said was bad advice provided by outsiders.

"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 was quoted as saying by The Citizen publication.

"You have cattle. You are big farmers. You can feed your children. Why then resort to birth control?" he asked. "This is my opinion, I see no reason to control births in Tanzania".

Legislators on Monday criticised the comments, according to local media, saying they are not consistent with national policy.

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