Malawi government has said it wants to encourage men to have vasectomies in a bid to stem the landlocked country’s growing population and persuades the development partners to channel their financial resources towards promotion of Vasectomy.
A vasectomy is often irreversible as it is a surgical procedure for male sterilisation or permanent contraception. During the procedure, the male vas deferens (tube which conveys sperm from the testicle) is cut and tied or sealed to prevent sperm from entering into the urethra. This thereby prevents fertilisation of a female through sexual intercourse.
Speaking on Wednesday, when the opening of National Symposium on Population and Development in Malawi at Bingu international Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ben Phiri said despite a number of interventions in family planning and the increase of uptake of contraceptives up to 58 per cent, the southern African nation still has increased its population over the years.
He said that given the option and right advice, men might be more willing to consider having a vasectomy.
Minister Phiri said apart from condom use, birth control is usually left to women.
“We have been promoting the use of contraceptives among women while men have just been passive participants in family planning initiatives and they always find a way to bear child from other women out of wedlock. This is what is contributing to population boom in the country,” the Minister added.
While women have many methods for preventing pregnancy, the options for men boil down to condoms, withdrawal (pulling out) or getting a vasectomy. The latter is rarely used by many men in Malawi.
Many men prefer the skin-to-skin feeling that condoms normally prevent, while the withdrawal method is the least effective. But they are loath to settle for a vasectomy as a means of family planning.
Senior Chief Mlonyeni of Mchinji agreed with the suggestion that men should be on vasectomy in order to reduce population growth.
“The population increase in the country has contributed to shortage of land, deforestation, food shortage, overfishing and poor access to social services in various areas,” Mlonyeni said.
He added that if the programme is to be a success traditional and religious leaders should be in lead in order to spearhead the initiative.
A vasectomy usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Many vasectomy patients find that they can resume their typical sexual behaviour within a week, and do so with little or no discomfort.
Medical experts says that vasectomy is a modern, safe and effective family planning method for men whose families are complete.
The procedure is not encouraged for young, single, childless men, as their chances of biological parenthood are thereby more or less permanently reduced to almost zero. —Additional reporting by Tione Andsen, ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :