The Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit (SRH) has established District Male Action Groups (DMAG) in 12 districts in Botswana.
The groups have coordinators who give other men brief talks on SRH issues, especially during soccer matches, and also perform the male vasectomy procedure after realising that the number of Batswana men who opt for the procedure is low.
“The right to health is acknowledged internationally as a universal human right. Rooted in the principle of human rights, SRH implies that men and women have the right to be informed and have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice,” said United Nations Population Fund Representative, Dr Joseph Pitso, as he officially opened the workshop.
SRH Program Coordinator, Molly Rammipi, said at a two-day media orientation workshop by the Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA) that she had no exact statistics of men who have undergone vasectomy in Botswana. She said it is mostly expatriates who are interested in it.
The two-day workshop held in Gaborone was organised by BOFWA in a bid to sensitise the media fraternity on key issues relating to SRH&R issues in Botswana.
A vasectomy is considered a permanent form of birth control to make a man unable to father a child; the procedure is considered the best family planning method for a man who has completed a family. It is a surgical procedure in which the tube that carries the sperm from the testes to the urethra is cut or sealed off to prevent sperm from being released during ejaculation.
“Vasectomy is a surgical procedure; apparently it’s been performed in private facilities, but we have talked to facilities to capture statistics of men who perform it, especially Batswana men as it has to be reflected as a method of family planning,” she said.