Rwanda: Nyabihu and Nyamasheke Lead Vasectomy Drive in Rwanda

The Western Province districts of Nyabihu and Nyamasheke have the highest number of men who underwent vasectomy, according to research from the Rwanda Biomedical Centre.

Vasectomy is a wsurgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent contraception. 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 prevent fertilization.

Vasectomy was rolled out in 2008 and since then 3,120 men have undergone the process, according to Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC).

Nyabihu district leads the vasectomy drive with 398 men having gone through the procedure,Nyamasheke comes second with 331 men. The districts with least number of men who have had vasectomy are Kicukiro (29), Nyanza (30) and Burera (40).

According to Joel Serucaca, the Reproductive Health officer at RBC, 53 per cent of Rwandwwans use various family planning methods with contraceptives taking an upper hand.

Some of the men who have had vasectomy told Sunday Times that it is a good family planning method and have not had any complications.

Mustafa Muhire, a resident of Kabeza in Gatsibo district is one of those who have had the operation and says he did it because all the other family planning methods were having negative effects on his wife.

"I chose to have vasectomy because contraceptives posed a health risk to my wife. Men should not leave family planning to women only, they should be involved and if necessary they should be the ones to do it," Muhire said.

Serucaca allayed fears that most men express which include the process affecting their sexual performance.

"There's a rumour that vasectomy affects sexual performance of men which is not true. Many men have been dissuaded from vasectomy by this rumour," Serucaca noted.

Serucaca further added that some men tend to opt for vasectomy at a later age when both desire and ability for sexual intercourse has reduced.

"The whole idea of men having vasectomy usually comes when they have experienced a big burden of many children and waning ability to perform sexually due to old age."

He also explained that so far there have been no reported side effects associated with vasectomy in the country but added that some women dissuade their husbands from having vasectomy.

"Some women prefer contraceptives even when they get side effects than having their husbands get a vasectomy because of the misconceptions and myths about vasectomy."

RBC believes that the number of men getting vasectomy will rise as the cultural misconceptions and myths are corrected by health experts.

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