Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Faustine Ndugulile told the National Assembly yesterday that neither the ministry nor donors had ever imposed a regulation that restricts families to a certain number of children.
He said the family planning policy only intended to safeguard the health and well-being of the mother and the child.
Dr Ndugulile was responding to a supplementary question from Special Seats MP Suzan Lyimo (Chadema) who sought to know the government’s stance on family planning.
In her question, Lyimo claimed that the government had issued national guidelines restricting the use of family planning methods.
She also wanted to know the government stance since there has been a growing confusion among members of the public and development partners, whether Tanzania will abandon the use of contraceptives and other methods currently in use for birth control.
Responding Dr Ndugulile said that the government had not issued any guidelines that intend to scraping family planning programmes in the country.
In his basic question, Kilolo MP, Venance Mwamoto (CCM) wanted to know the government’s commitment on the implementation of the national plan to fight child and maternal deaths.
Responding, Dr Ndugulile said the government is now implementing the national plan 2016 - 2020 which aims at improving mother and child health services as well as youth so as to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The National Plan among others emphasises the use of family planning methods that help in the fight against maternal mortality,” he added.
In September this year, when addressing a rally at Meatu District in Simiyu Region, President Magufuli expressed his doubts over family planning programmes.
“If you cannot work then opt for family planning but if you can work hard why family planning?” he told the residents.
Magufuli reproached those who embraced family planning, terming them, “lazy.”
Magufuli said it was unfair to ask those able to take care of their children to undertake family planning. He was, however, quick to add that he was merely expressing his own views.
“Let me tell you in front of the minister for health who is always advocating for family planning, till the land, work hard … if you have enough food then give birth to many children as you can,” he noted.