- Sitti Hikmawatty, commissioner for health, made the claims during an interview
- Hikmawatty – whose surname translates as wisdom – has been ridiculed online
- Doctors have said it is impossible to get pregnant in the way she described
Women can fall pregnant in swimming pools ‘even without penetration’ if men with ‘strong sperm’ ejaculate into the water, an Indonesian child protection boss has claimed.
Sitti Hikmawatty, the comissioner for health, narcotics and addictive substances at the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI), made the extraordinary claims in an interview with the Tribun Jakarta last week.
Ms Hikmawatty – whose surname translates as ‘wisdom’ – has apologised for her comments, saying they were made in a ‘personal capacity’, after she faced backlash on social media.
Doctors in Indonesia have said it would be impossible for women to get impregnated in this way.
‘There is an especially strong type of male sperm that may cause pregnancy in a swimming pool,’ said Ms Hikmawatty.
‘Even without penetration, men may become sexually excited (by women in the pool) and ejaculate, therefore causing a pregnancy.
‘If women are in a phase where they are sexually active, (such a pregnancy) may occur. No one knows for sure how men react to the sight of women in a swimming pool.’
The Indonesian Doctors Association told the Jakarta Post that women cannot be impregnated in swimming pools.
Indonesian blogger doctor, called Blog Dokter, said in response to her claims: ‘Once again, I remind you, if you do not understand health problems, it’s better to be quiet. Instead of your comments causing anxiety and panic.
‘I will emphasise here, swimming with the opposite sex will not cause pregnancy. Not all men who swim ejaculate and sperm cannot live in chlorinated pool water, let alone swim into the vagina.’
She has faced ridicule on social media. Photos have been uploaded of her shaking hands with a senior commissioner with the reflection of pool water pasted over the top.
One Twitter user wrote: ‘When there is a flood. Ordinary people: Save ourselves and other valuables. Sitti Wisdom: Please separate men and women so that no one gets pregnant.’
A cartoon strip has also been posted online showing a women getting pregnant after she enters flood waters with a man.
The chairman of the KPAI, Susanto, has issued a statement saying her claims do not represent the views of the organisation.
‘We hereby state that KPAI’s understanding and attitude are not reflected in the online news narrative.’
Ms Hikmawatty issued an apology on Sunday. ‘I apologise to the publi for giving an incorrect statement,’ she said. ‘It was a personal statement and not from KPAI. I hereby revoke the statement. I plead with all parties not to disseminate it further or even make it available.’