DAR ES SALAAM. – The Tanzanian government has issued a stern warning for men who crave breast milk, which has seriously affected the health of their infants and wives.
This was revealed by Handeni District Commissioner Toba Nguvila at an event marking World Women’s Breastfeeding Week.
The commissioner revealed that a proportion of women complained about their husbands, who had developed a rare taste of breast milk, depriving children of much-needed nutrients and causing malnutrition, which improves sexual performance and muscle building in men.
This tradition is not new in East Africa and particularly in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Uganda’s Minister of State for Health, Sarah Opendi, revealed in 2018 that several men had developed this unusual culture, further hampering the health of babies and mothers.
A study by Kyambogo University in Kampala and the University of Kent in the UK and supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund found that men breastfed for an hour at least once a day before feeding the baby.
Some respondents said they found it stimulating and even relieved their stress. Some have said it’s a way to initiate sex and affection with their wives, but it’s usually more effective on women who have just given birth.
The practice has been linked to gender-based violence in parts of Uganda, particularly after some men got drunk and thus became violent towards their wives when they demanded to breastfeed.