By Kenya Correspondents Association Reporter
November 25, 2013 – More men need to go for vasectomy if the rapid population growth in Kenya is to be checked reproductive health expert, Dr Charles Ochieng says.
Kenya’s population currently stands at 44.3 million according to 2013 World Population Report.
“The 18th of October was World Vasectomy Day but it went unnoticed because no attention is given to the day. Vasectomy should play a key role in family planning in African countries where population growth is increasing rapidly,” Dr Ochieng told journalists in a recent workshop conducted by ScienceAfrica and Kenya Media Programme in Nairobi
“99.9 per cent of the family planning in Kenya is done by women with very high complication rate therefore to relieve our mothers and sisters from the burden we call upon, men to embrace vasectomy as a way to plan their families and avoid being overburdened,” said Dr Ochieng.
He says vasectomy is simpler safer and more reliable alternative to other family planning methods. Vasectomy is voluntary and can be done to those who are satisfied with the number of children that they have.
However, he said that “Kenya has only ten doctors in the country who can perform the procedure.
Only 50 per cent of men who have undergone vasectomy go public about it,” says Dr Ochieng.
District Reproductive Health Coordinator, Kisumu East Sub County, Elizabeth Onyango, said the uptake of family planning in women has been low because of the myths and perception that people have about the contraceptives and urged the men to come up and support their women.
Men’s opposition to family planning has meant fewer women are willing to take up family planning says Ms Onyango.
She confirmed that inadequate access to reproductive health services and lack of information on vasectomy has led to few men making informed choices.
District Advocacy Officer Family Health Options Kenya, Kisumu, George Ogola said vasectomy is a good family planning option for men as it gives them a chance to focus on their careers.
“Men have fear of unknown in their mind that should anything happen and they lose their children, there is no way of replacing the child,” said Mr Ogolla.