11.18.2016 / Nairobi
WHAT: On November 18, 2016, we hosted World Vasectomy Day in Nairobi, Kenya. Building up to this event, we created materials for training trainers and mobilizers, working with 6 counties to mobilize men for WVD.
For the medical community, we hosted symposia, and using the bright young Kenyan media talent, stormed social media with facts about vasectomy that ultimately caused the topic to trend for 13 hours around East Africa, with 1.3 million impressions.
Here is the program notes from 2016: “Come to a celebration of men and their contribution to family planning. There will be a health fair for men in the park outside the theater, and inside the theater there will be vasectomies performed on stage, vasectomies done while we Skype with doctors and patients in other countries, while panels discuss the myths and misconceptions about vasectomy, why it’s hard for couples to communicate about family planning, what this means for the country and the planet, and what’s on the horizon to address the lack of options for men to contribute to family planning”.
EVENT SCHEDULE and SESSIONS
- Opening ceremony 10:00 a.m.- 10:45 a.m.
- Session 1: Myths and Misconceptions about Vasectomies 11:00 a.m. – 12:15
Focus on men making a personal and informed choice.
- Elliot-Smith Awards*: 1:00 -1:15
- Session 2: Gender relations, Making Family Planning a Conversation, 1:15 – 2:15
Focus on Men/women and emphasis on FP as ‘family/husband and wife/partner decision-making.
- Session 3: Demographic Dividend, 2:30 – 3:45
Focuses on national benefits of FP
- Session 4: Population on the Planet 4:00 – 5:15
Focuses on global impact of FP
- Session 5: Future of Male Contraception, 5:30 – 7:00
Focuses on next steps in FP
- Closing ceremony, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
What is World Vasectomy Day in Kenya?
- It is an ongoing social media communications project that unites men, vasectomy doctors, health care stakeholders, the National Council for Population and Development and the Ministry Health, and organizations like IntraHealth International, Marie Stopes International, K4 Health, FP Voices, JHPIEGO, PSKenya, FHI360, Engender Health and many other supporters in a mission to increase men’s participation in family planning.
- It is the vasectomy-provider community in Kenya, linked to doctors worldwide through a list-serve, that helps them share practical information and successful solutions to common health provider challenges.
- It is a 12 – 18 hour ‘vasectomy-thon’ set to occur on November 18th that connects Kenya as the global headquarters, to vasectomy providers, health care experts and family planning leaders throughout the world.
- It is a live-streamed video feed that will be experienced across multiple time zones during which time we will share live vasectomies, information about access to vasectomy providers, conversations with leaders in family planning, contributions from wives, partners and mothers as well as a range of visual media including documentaries and animations produced throughout the year in the lead up to the live event.
- It is an opportunity to educate men and women about a variety of family planning options.
- It will include a day-long men’s wellness center during which men can be tested and educated about hypertension, HIV, voluntary male circumcision and general health check ups. Our position is that part of being a responsible family member is taking care of one’s health.
- It includes a training program for health champions such as the Tupange group and an intensive training program for vasectomy providers in Kenya.
- It includes a workshop by FP2020 Voices to engage young journalists, vasectomy champions, and other change agents in how to find and tell a good story, record quality sound, frame a good picture, and put it all together to make compelling media.
- *This year we launch the Elliot-Smith Awards in honor of Arthur Elliot-Smith, founder of his vasectomy clinic in Oxford, England. His principles were that all vasectomies would be well-counselled, entirely voluntary, and delivered with respect and dignity. Recipients of this year’s award have been chosen because they demonstrate this ethos:
1. A patient whose values and reasons for getting a vasectomy represent the highest levels of consciousness associated with our event.
George Mbogah was the first man who inspired WVD. In 2012, he traveled 20+ hours by bus to get a vasectomy during a clinic held in Busia, Kenya by Dr. Doug Stein and Dr. Charles Ochieng. His passion to contribute to his family and support his wife by shouldering responsibility for FP inspires our work.
2. A promoter/educator who works tirelessly in the community to bring awareness about value of men’s role in family planning to their community.
Frohnie Cagitan has been working in Cebu, Philippines to help build awareness and acceptance of vasectomy for five years. Her passion and vision has turned resistance into the most vibrant vasectomy program in her country.
3. Two vasectomy providers who have dedicated their careers to excellence, not only in service of their own practice, but in helping others build capacity and quality of service.
Dr. Ramchandra Kaza and Dr. Baljit Kaur have worked together to train hundreds, if not thousands of Indian vasectomists. Dr. Kaur is now the director of FP for the state of Punjab and Dr. Kaza the preeminent vasectomy trainer and father of No Scalpel vasectomies in India.
- WVD supports a creative and vibrant collaboration with local media artists, filmmakers and journalists to educate and inform the general public.
- We intend to work with Nairobi’s vibrant IT community to find tech solutions to public health challenges.
- It’s an opportunity to share with the world and the country how Kenya’s Ministry of Heath, along with the principal public health stakeholders, are working together in a shared commitment to engage men in family planning.
- Ultimately, it is our hope that the event becomes a year-round initiative that builds awareness through communication and community, through collective effort by creating strategic alliances with Ministries of Health, Family Planning organizations and conscientious individuals.
- It is an ongoing movement that harnesses the best qualities in men to encourage fairer, more respectful and kinder gender relations.
- It will be the largest male-oriented family planning event in history and demonstrate Kenya’s commitment to innovation.
Why It Matters
World Vasectomy Day provides a unique opportunity for men of all races, religions and nationalities to come together as individuals who are committed to helping shoulder the burden of contraception as an act of love for themselves, their families and our future.
Kenya, like many countries, faces challenges of cultural, religious and economic differences, but WVD promotes unity, finding shared purpose in country and across borders. Men may be resistant to getting a vasectomy, but we are united in our hopes that the lives of our children be as good or better than our own, and while numbers do not determine our destiny, we believe that being conscious about how we bring life into existence lowers unintended pregnancies and positively affects the quality of life we are able to provide for our children.
Finally, unless we get men to participate in what we believe is the most important conversation of our lives, we will be hard-pressed to meet the ambitious goals set by FP2020. Indeed, women must not, and cannot do this alone.
Who Participates in World Vasectomy Day?
- Urologists, physicians and vasectomists – all providing skilled health care.
- Men who have received vasectomies and champion our movement.
- Women who benefit from their partners’ generosity and take part to share their gratitude.
- Family planning advocates and groups who provide expertise and knowledge in service delivery, demand building, managing of big data and measurement and evaluation of programs and projects.
- Men’s groups, women’s organizations and environmental advocates who believe in our mission.
- Different divisions of the Ministry of Health without which scalability and expansion are not feasible.