07.03.2018 /

In early April, WVD traveled to Colombia to explore bringing our headquarters there for either 2018 or 2019. We were hosted by Profamilia, an IPPF affiliate, and with over 20 clinics nationwide, Colombia’s most important provider of family planning services. It was to be our first trip to Colombia and we were excited, as it’s a place we’ve long wanted to visit.

 

In early April, WVD traveled to Colombia to explore bringing our headquarters there for either 2018 or 2019. We were hosted by Profamilia, an IPPF affiliate, and with over 20 clinics nationwide, Colombia’s most important provider of family planning services. It was to be our first trip to Colombia and we were excited, as it’s a place we’ve long wanted to visit.

From the first year, Profamilia has supported World Vasectomy Day. In 2014, eighteen of their doctors joined us in our first vasectomy-athon, and together they did over 100 vasectomies. Their vasectomy program is one of the most advanced in all of Latin America, and in fact, the first vasectomy every done in South America was performed in Colombia. Legend has it that the doctor even did his own procedure!

In early April, WVD traveled to Colombia to explore bringing our headquarters there for either 2018 or 2019. We were hosted by Profamilia, an IPPF affiliate, and with over 20 clinics nationwide, Colombia’s most important provider of family planning services. It was to be our first trip to Colombia and we were excited, as it’s a place we’ve long wanted to visit.

From the first year, Profamilia has supported World Vasectomy Day. In 2014, eighteen of their doctors joined us in our first vasectomy-athon, and together they did over 100 vasectomies. Their vasectomy program is one of the most advanced in all of Latin America, and in fact, the first vasectomy every done in South America was performed in Colombia. Legend has it that the doctor even did his own procedure!

We had invited Profamilia’s lead vasectomist, Dr. Diana Soraya Torres to be our honored guest at WVD 2017 in Mexico City. Dr. Torres has performed over 30,000 vasectomies and trained many of her country’s vasectomists. In Mexico City, we kept her very busy. She was a lecturer at the vasectomy symposium, she did several radio interviews and she even found time to do more than 40 vasectomies.

Upon her return home she shared this experience with her colleagues, and when we suggested a visit to Colombia, Marta Roya, Profamilia’s executive director and Jorge Restrepo, their Managing Director both embraced the idea. They asked what they could to do to prepare for the meeting and we sent them a summary of the elements that make for a successful WVD event and some suggestions on how we might collaborate (see attached or create hyperlink).

We invited Dr. Esgar Guarin, a Colombian doctor who now practices in Iowa to come along. He is a family practitioner and the winner of Iowa’s family doctor of the year award for excellence in service and now, as well, a passionate provider of vasectomies. Dr. Guarin was, along with Dr. Torres, one of 8 international providers who were in Mexico City to help build our movement. His work there was deeply appreciated as he became a key spokesperson for our movement.

In addition, WVD’s creative director, Nicolas Cuellar is from there and had recently returned home to Bogota. He is perfectly positioned to oversee the campaigns we will need to bring awareness and build demand.

So while we had good reason to expect a successful trip, we had no idea just how good it would be. Plain in simple we don’t know that WVD has ever been more graciously received in our many years of travel. It started upon arrival with Profamilia sending a driver to pick us up at the airport. And starting the next morning and every waking minute after, we had meeting after meeting to exchange knowledge and experience.

Profamilia is an incredible organization with dedicated and excellent doctors, nurses, researchers, artists and administrators. Their facility in Bogota is beautiful and clean and respectful of its patients in all senses of the word and it only takes one encounter, one meeting with Marta Royo to know she is a powerful and progressive leader.

Over the course of our three days visit, we met representatives from every single sector of society needed to create a great event. This includes the mayor’s office, the ministry of health’s director for the office of family planning, leaders in women’s issues, offices to support new masculinities, the media team, journalists, insurance companies that cash flow vasectomy subsidies from the government and the leaders in private and public hospitals. The response was uniformly positive and so our commitment to make Colombia our trusted partner with Profamilia is now officially confirmed!