I was honored to be able to participate in the second Kenyan vasectomy mission sponsored by No-scalpel Vasectomy International (NSVI). This second mission occurred in Kisumu, Kenya at the Marie Stopes Clinic in Kisumu.
Dr. Charles Ochieng was the sponsor of the mission and he also serves as the NVSI Kenyan Mission Director. The mission was warmly received by the people of Kisumu. During the three day mission over 30 vasectomies were performed.
The 30 vasectomies performed in Kisumu over the course of 3 days were more than all the vasectomies performed in the entire country of Kenya over the last 10 years!
This photo gallery is divided into two sections. The first gallery shows the more ‘typical mission’ type photos and the second gallery demonstrates with more serious imagery why vasectomy is important to developing countries.
Why is vasectomy important in Africa?
This second photo gallery illustrates why vasectomy is so much more important in the developing world.
We had the privilege of meeting with members of the Tupange Project. This group is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and is responsible for studying family planning methods and providing access to affordable family planning. They shared statistics with us showing that knowledge about vasectomy was very high in Kenya but vasectomy was almost nonexistent. In the last three years they did not record any vasectomy procedures as having been done in the entire country.
Why vasectomy is not done in Kenya?
Vasectomies were not being performed for many reasons: lack of trained doctors, more readily available funding for female tubal ligation, and male perceptions about castration. It was readily apparent to me if you don’t have any trained doctors then the procedure will not get done not matter what the other reasons may be!
It was also very revealing to see the profound importance placed on female contraception and sterilization. No importance was placed on vasectomy and no governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations or non-profits promote vasectomy. Female tubal ligation is profoundly important to Africa but it does come with a burden because ectopic pregnancy is a death sentence in an undeveloped country.
Vasectomy helps prevent unintended pregnancy. If you prevent unintended pregnancy you decrease maternal death and morbidity. In Africa you also decrease HIV transmission from infected mothers to newborn babies. Vasectomy can greatly help in the war against HIV on the content of Africa.