Men to get free vasectomy services

By Vivian Agaba

Added 10th June 2019 06:44 PM

Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilisation.

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Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilisation.

Dr. Dinah Nakiganda, the Assistant Commissioner of Reproductive Health Uganda at the Ministry of Health signs the campaign pact as other guests look on. PHOTO: Vivian Agaba 
Men who wish to stop having children permanently will be able to access free and voluntary vasectomy services at different clinics run by Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) in seven districts.
Any RHU clinic in Kampala, Mbarara, Mityana, Gulu, Hoima, Arua and Iganga districts will carry out the procedure through highly qualified medical doctors.
This was revealed by the executive director, RHU, Jackson Chekweko recently during the launch of MenPlusUg campaign aimed at putting men at the forefront of family planning.
Chekweko said most existing family planning methods target women, and men are left with only two options - condoms and vasectomy.
He, however, explained that some men may want to stop having children, yet the use of condoms may not be very effective especially for the married people, thus making vasectomy the ideal contraceptive method.
Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilisation. During the procedure, the male vas deferens are cut and tied or sealed so as to prevent sperm from entering into the urethra and thereby preventing fertilization of a female through sexual intercourse.
“This procedure is entirely voluntary; we shall offer these services to only men who have decided to stop having children. The procedure is simple, comfortable and takes less than ten minutes,” he said
Chekweko said bringing men on board to promote family planning is associated with benefits like; reduced fertility at family and country level, improved standards of living due to better self-care, reduced gender based violence, reduced expenditure on health and better health for women and girls.
It does not matter how many children the couple has, or how old the man is, as long as they have decided to stop having children, the man can access these services. The campaign will start from the seven mentioned districts and lateron, will be rolled out to other parts of the country.           
Retired Major Rubaramira Ruranga who underwent vasectomy a few years ago revealed that some men are hesitant to undergo the procedure due to fear of not being able to perform well sexually.  
“It is not true that vasectomy affects a man’s libido, you function normally. I can assure you that I now enjoy intimacy more with my wife because I do not have to worry about her getting unwanted pregnancy,” he said.
Ruranga urged couples to produce children they can manage to take good care of or else they will produce casual laborers to work for others for peanuts.
Dr. Dinah Nakiganda, the Assistant Commissioner of Reproductive Health Uganda at the  Ministry of Health said strategies are being put in place to support (RHU) and Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU), the implementers of the campaign to ensure they reach different health facilities across the country.
She reiterated Chekweko’s words noting that vasectomy is an individual decision, and should only be carried out among men who are willing. She said the ministry would also work with them to provide kits to be used during the procedure.
The RAHU team leader, Humphrey Nabimanya said although traditional family planning programs focus primarily on women, men are often the primary decision-makers about family size, health services, and family planning methods.
“Many women cannot make family planning decisions or access services and products without their male partner’s permission, agreement, or financial support,” he said
Therefore, the project aims to optimize the constructive engagement of men to improve health outcomes for men, women, and their families.

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