The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: 700,000 Men Expected to Undergo Vasectomy

Kigali — As the government lays several strategies to curb the rapid population growth, the Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, has said that about 700,000 Rwandan men are expected to, voluntarily, enroll for vasectomy in the next three years.

"This is one method of family planning that we are practicing and we expected to have about 700,000 men undergoing vasectomy and circumcision in the next three years," Sezibera said.

"We included circumcision because it allows us get to the men's reproductive system and in the process we advise them on condom use and vasectomy."

Reports indicate that Rwanda is the only country in Africa using, non-scalpel vasectomy, the latest birth control method for men.

According to the World Health Organization, vasectomy is one of the safest and most effective methods of contraception.

Its advantages over female sterilization include lower rates of postoperative complications, shorter recovery time, reduced costs and increased involvement of men in reproductive decision-making.

Meanwhile, Minister Sezibera, on Monday, told the Senate that the planned increment of premiums for health insurance commonly known as Mutuelle de Sante will help meet the current cost of health.

"Previously, the cost of health per person was rated at Rwf 2000 but now it has gone up to, between Rwf 2900 and 3400 that why we had to increase the premiums to meet the cost," Sezibera said.

"We intend to raise Rwf 30 billion though the total cost of health is rated at Rwf 25 billion."

"The increment will depend on a member's financial capacity, we have categorized three groups; the extremely poor will pay Rwf2,000; the second category, which will have many of the citizens in the country, will pay Rwf 3,000 while the third group will pay Rwf 7,000," said the Minister.

The Minister noted that the groups have been categorized through Ubudehe, a government programme aimed at reducing poverty levels with a particular emphasis on poor households across the country.

The increment will be effective July 1.

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