The issue of men ”competing” for breast milk with babies has gripped the Tanzania’s coastal region of Tanga, TheCitizen reports.
Speaking with the media, Handeni District Commissioner, Siriel Mchembe, said men breast-feeding has stood out as a severe concern in the country.
According to Mchembe, breastfeeding women in the district have asked her to help them raise their voices against husbands who suck their breasts as they cause shortage of milk for their children.
The request was made during an event to commemorate breastfeeding week held at Mkata, early this week.
DC Mchembe in response, said she has information that some men with the habit, associate it with superstitious beliefs.
According to her, the vice derives from a misguided assumption that breast milk improves sexual performance, which has left children in some areas severely underweight.
“I advise those men who are sucking their breastfeeding wives’ breasts to stop with immediate effect, because it causes malnutrition since children don’t get enough milk, please stop this habit,” she said.
On her part, Handeni District Council nutrition officer, Julia Charo said that as of June 21, this year, 3,856 children under the age of five were found to be underweight.
She said that in the case of children with stunted growth, 34% of all children referred and treated at the clinic and 7519 pregnant women who were tested for blood volume, 102 were diagnosed with severe anemia.