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Mudede's call to stop using condoms torches a storm

by Patrick Chitumba
28 May 2014 at 06:55hrs | Views
REGISTRAR-GENERAL Tobaiwa Mudede's call for people to stop using contraceptives has sparked outrage among Zimbabweans.

He said contraceptives were a ploy by powerful nations to retard population growth in Africa thereby weakening the nations. Mudede made the remarks on Sunday during an address to Family of God Church congregants who were commemorating Africa Day in Kambuzuma, Harare.

He also said contraceptives were conduits for diseases such as cancer, especially in women and questioned how society could thrive when it was limiting its growth.

The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said as a ministry they would always advocate for contraceptive use as a means of fighting against HIV and Aids, STIs and unwanted pregnancies.

The minister said HIV and Aids prevalence rate had also decreased drastically from about 29 percent to 13 percent as a result of condom use.

"We advocate for condom and contraceptive use to our people. If one fails to abstain, to be faithful to one partner, he or she should use a condom correctly and continuously," he said.

Dr Parirenyatwa said condom use had played a huge role in family planning.

"Condoms have been the biggest factor in the successes we have heard in the country in terms of family planning, avoidance of unwanted pregnancies and reduction of new HIV infections. So as a ministry we call on people to continue using them where necessary," he said.

National Aids Council director of communications, Medelina Dube said people should be encouraged to use contraceptives.

She said a lot of people would be put at risk if condoms are discouraged.

"For those who are faithful and have one partner, yes they may not use condoms. But for those with concurrent sexual partners, those going to bed with many sexual partners, they should use condoms," she said.

She encouraged those who wanted to stop using condoms to first go for HIV testing and then become faithful to their partners.

Bulawayo Central MP Dorcas Sibanda said condoms were necessary in the fight against HIV and Aids.

She said outside abstinence - a practice that many people were failing to uphold - people should use condoms.

"There are so many orphans in my constituency, so many elderly people looking after orphans without any assistance from anyone even the government. Because of such scenarios I cannot believe that our respectable Registrar-General would say such a thing," she said.

The lawmaker said the country was pushing for an HIV and Aids-free generation, adding the only way to achieve it was through use of condoms.

She said the economy was not performing well, adding that a lot of companies had been closed - a development she said was against the notion of having a lot of children.

"We can't just keep on giving birth. What will we give those children? Our economy is not performing as we want. We need an able environment, a better economy first, we need maternal health issues addressed, we need to see child mortality rates decreasing and we need better education before we encourage people to have many children," she said.

Cont Mhlanga, a social commentator said he did not agree with Mudede.

"That's a no, no, no, my brother. Rather we should be discussing issues to do with making contraceptives available to many sexually active people to curb the spread of HIV and Aids," he said.

Source - chronicle