Vasectomy At 1% In Zim

UPTAKE of vasectomy, which is a surgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent contraception is currently very low in Zimbabwe owing to deep rooted cultural beliefs, fear,  amongst a host of other factors, a top health official has said.

By Michael Gwarisa

In an interview with HealthTimes, Director family health in the ministry of health and child care (MoHCC), Dr Bernard Madzima said uptake of the service was till very low but efforts were underway to ensure men get informed and educated about the issue so as to increase awareness and its uptake.

“Yes vasectomy  is very low at 1 percent.  Men seem not to be keen on the method.

“However low uptake can be due to low demand creation, we haven’t had many programs to create awareness and making men aware of its availability, lack of trained staff and equipment to perform it in govt hospitals as well as sociocultural beliefs-  such as men  thinking they will lose their strength  are some of the myths,” said Dr Madzima.

He added that more needed to be done on the awareness side as most men still have fears regards the practice. He also applauded Population Services Zimbabwe (PSZ) for spearheading a nationwide vasectomy program which is already reaping results.

“PSZ has done great work in the area and as of May this year and within a two year period, over 600 men have had vasectomy through the PSZ program.”

According to PSZ statistics, in 2017, a total of 67 men underwent vasectomy up from 37 in 2016 while 2015, a total of 19 and 26 men in 2014 went through the procedure.

The vasectomy procedure according to PSZ is one of the most effective means of family planning and contrary to myths that it reduces sexual pleasure or libido, the procedure does not equal to castration.

Speaking during a family planning advocacy meeting in Kadoma early this year, PSZ clinical services and quality director, Dr Raymond Chikowore said the common myths surrounding vasectomy are not real as some state that men can not ejaculate after going through the process.

“Semen does not consist of sperm only as there are other fluids that come from different glands in the male reproductive system

“The male who goes through vasectomy continues to produce sperm minus the seed so it means ejaculation continues to take place hence the pleasure remains the same.”

There are approximately 310 000 unintended pregnancies in Zimbabwe each year despite the country having one of the highest Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) in Africa, standing at 59 percent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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