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Published On: Thu, Jul 9th, 2015

Mudede family planning remarks touch off storm

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REMARKS by Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede that women should stop using modern family planning methods have courted controversy with a medical mexpert warning of consequences of researches not subjected to broader peer review.tobaiwaa-mudede

Phyllis Mbanje

A medical doctor and fellow of the Geneva Foundation of Medical Education and Research,Rutendo Bonde, said there was need for credible sources of information.

“As we consider sexual and reproductive health and rights,people need more information from credible sources in order to avoid alarm,” she said.

Commenting on the said negative effects of family planning methods like Jadelle, Norplant, Depo Provera and others, Bonde, who is also a development health and social equity consultant, said any medical intervention was not without risks.

“This is why it becomes very important to have comprehensive counselling, risk profiling and professional advice before embarking on a contraceptive method,” she explained.

Contacted to comment on the said negative effects, Population Services of Zimbabwe (PSZ) said they acted on instructions from the Health ministry.

“If the Health ministry says the product is not safe we act accordingly, they are the ones who train us and so we await further instruction,”PSZ’s Pester Siraha said.

Meanwhile, the Health and Child Care ministry was expected to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development soon
to give their views on Mudede’s remarks.

“We noticed that your (Mudede)book has caused panic in women and some have stopped taking family planning tablets because they are now scared,”committee chairperson Biata
Nyamupinga said.

Mudede confessed before the committee that prior to his “scientific research” he had not contacted the Health ministry and even the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe for verification and support.

Muchaneta Spiwe Muchenje, a proportional representation MP (MDC-T), said Mudede’s study should also be proven scientifically that modern family planning methods were making
women obese.

“Is it not the fact that you want an increase in the population of Zimbabwe that you are
advocating for the ban of these family planning methods? Why is it that in developed countries they control their families and do not have many children yet they are doing well economically?”Muchenje questioned Mudede.

But, Mudede retorted: “Zimbabwe inoda vanhu vazhinji. Vanhu 12,9 million vashoma chaizvo.
(Zimbabwe needs more people because the current population of 12,9 million is just too
little).”

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