17 December 2013

Tanzania: Thefts of Young Babies 'Escalating'

Dodoma — A RECORD 310 babies were stolen at different hospitals between January 2011 and September 2013 of which 182 were boys.

Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Pereira Ami Silima told Parliament, that the babies were stolen at various health facilities in the country.

Mr Silima said while answering three main questions from Special Seats legislator (CCM), Kidawa Hamid Salehe who wanted to know how many kids were stolen during the period and reasons behind such thefts.

"Because one of the reasons why women steal children is to cover themselves against traditional discrimination which puts the burden of being infertile on them and not men, what is the ministry doing to correct this misconception?"

Ms Salehe asked. Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Seif Rashid said the concept of only women being considered infertile is outdated, as men can also be impotent hence unable to impregnate their wives.

"We are currently running sensitisation campaigns on the problem at health facilities throughout the country," Dr Rashid noted.

In his main response, Silima pointed out that the total number of lost babies, 177 were found some dead while 133 have never been found.

"Some 174 culprits including 101 men and 73 women were arrested and charged in courts of law," the deputy minister said. Dar es Salaam was the region with the highest incidents of thefts followed by Mara and Mbeya regions.

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