Culture of Contraception Wiping Out Tanzanian Village, Catholic Pro-life Advocate Bemoans

Logo of Human Life International (HLI)
Credit: Human Life International

A Catholic pro-life advocate in Tanzania has, in a report, bemoaned the continued and widespread use of artificial contraceptives in a village in the East African nation, a practice that could see the entire village wiped out.

In his February 17 report obtained by ACI Africa, Emil Hagamu, Tanzania’s Director of Human Life International (HLI), which is the world’s largest global pro-life apostolate, says Iragua village within the Catholic Diocese of Morogoro is “dying” due to the high use of artificial contraceptives among its residents.

“Over 80% of the population of Iragua is on contraception. Girls are routinely injected with Norplant at the age of 11. Casual sex is the norm, and STDs are rampant,” Mr. Hagamu says in the report in which he also indicates that the activities in the Tanzanian village are fruits of “reproductive health activism.”

The Tanzanian national goes on to highlight the experience of one, Edina Maumba, a pro-life community trainer who visited the village and “noticed that something was wrong” as there were two secondary schools but only one primary school.

“There were plenty of teenagers, but where were the young children?” Ms. Maumba has been quoted as posing in the report published on the website of HLI, an entity that says it is “completely faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.”

On her fact-finding mission, Ms. Maumba encountered Charles Udongo, a “young man who looked thin, worn out, and depressed,” seemingly suffering from the side effects of Norplant contraceptive.

According to Mr. Hagamu who doubles as HLI’s Regional Director of English-speaking Africa, women have been victims of Norplant’s side effects for decades, “but now they are pushing Norplant on men and boys too.”

Mr. Udongo’s predicament is not an isolated case, as Ms. Maumba says in the report entitled, “Reproductive Health Is Killing Iragua” and recalls hearing similar narratives from other residents of Irauga village.

The people of Irauga village are victims of “Coercive Population Control” whereby people are enticed into using artificial contraceptive methods without being told about their side effects, the HLI Tanzania Director says.

He continues, “Village clinics all over Tanzania have orders not to talk about the side-effects of contraceptives. Meanwhile, value-free sex-ed programs promote sexual ‘freedom’ while treating pregnancy like a disease.”

“In some villages, contraception is mandatory for all residents,” Mr. Hagamu says in reference to Tanzania.

The HLI official who founded Journalists for Life Organization whose members promote pro-life agenda in the media houses explains that coercive contraception “is not about freedom or human rights” but rather its “designed to decrease the population of Tanzania as quickly as possible and at any cost.”

To protect residents of Irauga village and others elsewhere, Mr. Hagamu recommends natural family planning methods.

“Natural family planning teaches spouses the dignity of the conjugal act and its openness to life. They learn to respect its inseparable unitive and procreative meanings,” the HLI Tanzania Director who founded the Parliamentarians Pro-life Coalition, a group of 25 lawmakers committed to ensuring no anti-life laws are passed in the Tanzanian parliament, explains.

In the process of using natural family planning, he says, spouses “find out how contraception damages bodies, marriages, and souls.”

Added to HLI Tanzania a year and a half ago, the natural family planning program is “spreading like wildfire in Africa” with 18 trainers already educated in the country, Mr. Hagamu who has published six books and booklets on pro-life says in the February 17 report.

“They have taught natural family planning to thousands of spouses who then spread the word to their friends,” he says in reference to the 18 trainers and adds, “Countless people have rejected the contraceptive culture.”

Founded in 1981 by “the father of the international pro-life movement,” the late Fr. Paul Marx, an American member of the Order of St. Benedict (OSB), HLI envisions “a world where the incalculable value of every human life is respected, protected, loved, and served, and the family is ordered in accordance with God’s design.”

In its mission of defending life and family around the world, the US-based organization with presence in some 100 countries focuses on issues related to contraception, abortion, marriage, reproductive technologies, and euthanasia.

The 32-year-old organization is under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Unborn.


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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]