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Men shun family planning

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ZIMBABWEAN men are not keen on undergoing vasectomy as they view this form of birth control as castration and a cruel process.

CHIEF REPORTER

This was revealed on Tuesday during a National Aids Council Matabeleland North stakeholders’ meeting in Bulawayo.

Men said they were sceptical of vasectomy with most of them simply condemning it as a form of castration. Presenting her first quarter report, Population Services International Zimbabwe Matabeleland North productive health and family planning officer Tafadzwa Vengai said the vasectomy procedure had no takers.

“Men are not forthcoming and uptake of vasectomy is low in the province as men mistake it for castration. It is a permanent family planning method for men. We encourage them to try it,” Vengai said.

Although he said they were not making any figures available for the first three months of the year, she indicated that their officials were finding it difficult to convince men to opt for this type of family planning method.

However, men who participated in the gathering said it was a cruel process and very difficult.

Some said there was virtually little or no education on vasectomy.

“It is not within our culture for men to do that (vasectomy),” said one male participant.

“It should not be encouraged at all. What would you do when your whole family dies when you are still in your 40s and have done the procedure? Men should simply ignore it and continue with other family planning methods,” the man said.

Meanwhile, members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) based in Hwange are reportedly keen to undergo circumcision, but lack facilities close to their camps.

A participant had asked the New Start Centre how it was assisting army personnel eager to be circumcised. Three doctors and two nurses have been trained to administer the procedure in the district.

“In Hwange we are using the facility at St Patrick’s, but the Ministry of Health (and Child Care) is spearedheading the programme. But the officials might not be available to conduct circumcision. We have trained three doctors and two nurses in that area,” a New Start Centre official said.

“ZNA officials are keen to undergo VC (voluntary circumcision) and we might go to their bases.”

He said mining firms in Hwange, including Makomo Investments and Hwange Colliery had been approached to circumcise their male workforce. He added the firms had tentatively agreed to give off days to workers who are interested.

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