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Over 100 men turn up for vasectomy at Nairobi event

The procedure performed behind a 'curtain' at the Kenya National Theatre/KEVIN GITAU

The procedure performed behind a ‘curtain’ at the Kenya National Theatre/KEVIN GITAU

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 18 – Over 100 men turned up in Nairobi to undergo vasectomy as the world marked the international day for the procedure.

In Kenya, the exercise was undertaken at the Kenya National Theatre where tens of dozens of men turned up.

Surprisingly, even youths were opting for vasectomy as a means of birth control that can be reversed but gets complicated after 10 years as blockages can begin to form as well as antibodies, creating an allergy to the sperm.

Speaking to Capital FM News, Sena Akai, who was coordinating the exercise on behalf of the World Vasectomy Day Founder Jonathan Stack, sought to allay the worst fear that the procedure is tantamount to being castrated for those willing to consider vasectomy.

“The major hurdle we face is lack of knowledge about vasectomy,” Akai observed adding: “The little information that people have about vasectomy is what makes them equate the procedure to castration, but those who are able to get the right information are open-minded about it once they get to know that this is a way of family planning amongst men.”

Akai exuded confidence that the fears will be put to rest as awareness on vasectomy continues to spread.

According to Dr Ramon Suarez, the Managing Director of No-Scalpel Vasectomy International, the procedure has hardly any side effects compared to tube ligation (the surgical sealing of fallopian tubes). Suarez cites the success rate of 99.8 percent on vasectomies as testament to this fact.

“The most common side effect – just like any surgery – is infection or bleeding,” he said. “If you see the bleeding during the operation that is easy to control, but if that happens after the patient is discharged then that’s a problem and we call it hematoma (accumulation of blood inside the scrotum). The treatment for that is to drain the blood and look for the bleeding vessel and tie it and that will end the procedure.”

The specialist termed vasectomy as one of the most effective and efficient family planning option there is in the world, saying it is simple to conduct as it takes an average of 5 to 10 minutes with the patient recovery period said to be less than two days.

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According to Suarez, the process involves fewer risks saying the failure of vasectomy could only mean that a man accidentally sires a child whereas for tubal ligation, the failure of the procedure could claim the patient’s life.

According to James Maina (62), a Kayole-based preacher who underwent the procedure in 2014, it took him two weeks to finally make up his mind on the procedure but he has never regretted making the decision.

Maina described the procedure as the best gift any man could give to his wife, saying it exempts her from the hustles that come with family planning methods for women – most of which he says have side effects on them.

“This idea people are saying that the procedure is equal to castration is untrue and baseless,” he said. “I am telling men wherever they are that this is the best gift you can give to your wife and your family.”

The exercise is said to cost up to cost about $490 in the United States with the reverse exercise estimated to cost about $5,000. Tube ligation is however said to be up to five times more expensive compared to vasectomy.

The procedure is being conducted free of charge during the commemoration of the World Vasectomy Day.


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