Tagged: vasectomy

  • Making the connection between vasectomy, family planning goals and development

    Dominick ShattuckWorld Vasectomy Day offers an opportunity to consider how vasectomy can contribute to development. This underused contraceptive method is particularly important as countries work toward achieving the Family Planning 2020 goals, which include providing an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s 69 poorest countries with access to voluntary family planning information, services and supplies by 2020.

    The number 120 million is a lot of women and girls to reach, and it raises an important question: What role do men play in achieving this target?

    Robust family planning initiatives protect women’s and children’s health, help fight HIV infection, reduce abortion and give women control over when they become pregnant.1 When experts and leaders from 150 countries gathered for the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, they recognized that providing comprehensive access to contraceptives is both beneficial and achievable. They identified metrics to measure their success.

    Vasectomy programs can make a strong contribution to fulfilling the Family Planning 2020 goals while allowing men to more fully participate in family planning. Vasectomy is safe, effective and one of the least expensive contraceptive methods.2 Vasectomies are provided more quickly — and are safer— than female sterilization.3

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  • For World Vasectomy Day: Lessons from Rwanda

    Our SUV bounced along the dirt road through the Rwandan mountains, which are noted for roads complicated by switchbacks and steep descents but dotted with stunning sites. On one side of the car, tea farmers pruned the lush green bushes atop raised beds of rich, black soil. We were destined for the Kinihira Health Facility, and our goal was to provide vasectomies. We looked forward to hearing more from our clients, usually husbands and wives who want to provide better lives for their children, about what led them there.

    After two decades of experience in East Africa, I could not imagine that we would have many clients. Worldwide, less than 2.4 percent of men of reproductive age have had a vasectomy.1 In Africa, the prevalence of vasectomy is negligible, less than one percent. Studies on vasectomy in Africa have found that men and women have limited knowledge of the method and many misconceptions, including equating vasectomy with castration and attributing the procedure to a reduction in sexual performance or desire, weight gain and laziness.

    In reality, vasectomy is safe, effective and the least expensive long-acting or permanent contraceptive method.

    Since 2010, FHI 360 has been providing technical assistance to the Rwandan Ministry of Health to scale up the delivery of enhanced vasectomy procedures, such as no-scalpel vasectomies (NSV). NSV has significant advantages, including a very low failure rate (0.15 percent) and a decreased risk of surgical complications like bleeding. To increase demand for vasectomy, Rwanda’s Vasectomy Scale-up Program — one of the first national vasectomy scale-up efforts in sub-Saharan Africa — has strived to provide reliable access along with facts to dispel common myths about the procedure.

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