By Hannatu Sadiq
The Tanzanian Government has issued a stern warning against men craving for breastmilk, saying that it has severely impacted the health of their toddlers and spouses.
The statement was delivered during an event to mark World Breastfeeding Week among women.
The Handeni District Commissioner, Toba Nguvila revealed that a section of women complained about their men who have developed a rare craving for breast milk, thus denying the children adequate nutrients, leaving them with malnutrition.
According to the commissioner, the practice is fueled by the narrative that this improves sexual performance and muscle building among men.
This tradition has been in play in East Africa and to be specific Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
In 2018, Uganda’s Minister of State for Health, Sarah Opendi, revealed that several men had developed this uncommon culture, which constrains the health of babies and mothers.
A study conducted by Kyambogo University in Kampala and Britain’s University of Kent, supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund, revealed that men were breastfed at least once a day for one hour before the baby is fed.
Some of the interviewees claimed that they found it energizing and even relieved them from stress.
Some said it was a way to initiate sex and affection towards their women but it’s usually more effective among women who have just given birth.
The practice has been linked to gender-based violence in some parts of Uganda, especially after some men becoming drunk, thus becoming violent towards their women when demanding to suckle.