2016 – Kenya, George Mbogah
In 2012, George Mbogah traveled 26 hours by bus to get a vasectomy so that his wife would not have to risk a pregnancy in the future. Jonathan Stack , who had accompanied Dr. Doug Stein on an NSVI mission to Kenya was so moved by George’s story, where a man undertakes an act of love on behalf of his family, that he woke upinspired to start World Vasectomy Day and to aggregate the good intentions of such men around the world. The following year, World Vasectomy Day was celebrated in 24 countries during 24 hours with almost a thousand men taking this heroic step in celebration of the day. George has continued to inspire men in Kenya and elsewhere by his example and authentic personal story, which he shares widely in support of vasectomy. Thank you, George, for this growing movement, which today will be celebrated in 42 countries during 24 plus hours and with ten thousand expected to join the ranks of responsible men everywhere. Thank you, George, for your wisdom and heartfelt expression of the founding principles of our movement.
2017 – Mexico, Ulises Cruz Gama
The award to the patient who represents the ideal of a hero and a responsible man this year goes to Ulises Cruz Gama, a fireman whose heroism after the recent earthquake in Mexico City saved lives and has made him a hero among Mexicans, who suffered this tremendous tragedy only two months ago. Gama, as we call him, was also a hero in the earthquake of 1985, where news coverage from that era shows him exhausted, working tirelessly to find people buried in the rubble. He had his vasectomy 15 years ago, and has been an ambassador for the procedure, and at the same time is the ideal for anyone who thinks that having a vasectomy compromises anyone’s masculinity. We are so happy to have met this great man, who represents every man who has the courage to make this sacrifice for the sake of his wife, his children, and the planet.
PROVIDER OF THE YEAR
2016 – India, Dr. Baljit Kaur
Dr. Baljit Kaur received her medical degree in 1990, and by 1999 was specializing in No Scalpel Vasectomy, and in 2000 became a trainer for NSV for the Government of India. In 2007 she received a national award in recognition of outstanding contribution in the field of no scalpel vasectomy by the Minstry of Health and Family Welfare. Her efforts on behalf of family planning, HIV medicine, male and female sterilization methods, and mobilizing on behalf of no scalpel vasectomy, and her tireless promotion of including men in the conversation about family planning make her a most deserving recipient of this, the first Elliot-Smith award. Thank you, Dr. Kaur, for your great contributions to the promotion of vasectomy with your esteemed colleague, Dr. Kaza.
2017 – United States, Dr. Doug Stein
This year, the first award goes to a doctor whose commitment to vasectomy is beyond compare. Not only did he give up his practice as a urologist to commit to doing vasectomies (and also vasectomy reversals) of the highest caliber, but he helped start a foundation that travels the world offering free vasectomies to men who otherwise would have no access to these services. His support for World Vasectomy Day has never faltered, and without him, this movement to include men in the conversation about family planning would not exist. We are honored and privileged to be able to present this award to Dr. Doug Stein, who has provided over 45,000 vasectomies in his practice, not including those of his volunteer activities around the world. Thank you, Doug!
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
2016 – Philippines, Frohnie Cagitan
Frohnie Cagitan is a woman who lives in the largely Catholic country of Philippines, where her advocacy for family planning through the promotion of vasectomy has moved many in Cebu to greater understanding of the benefits of taking control of family size, lifting children out of poverty, and creating opportunities that benefit everyone in the family and the community. Though the church has tried to discourage her efforts, Frohnie is not susceptible to discouragement, and with tireless energy and commitment advocates, sensitizes, and opens the doors for frank discussions about family planning that are difficult in these circumstances. Even today she is active in all means of outreach, and is perhaps the biggest sharer of the World Vasectomy Day Facebook posts on the site. We honor her for her dedication, perserverence, eternal cheer and enthusiasm. Thank you Frohnie!
2017 – Kenya, Nimrod Silla
As many of you are aware, last year Kenya hosted World Vasectomy Day. Kenya is a country where we were told no men would accept vasectomy, and that we would not find 10 men to volunteer. Instead, through a mobilization campaign created by Nimrod Silla, we were able to reach 10 counties in Kenya using Nimrod’s skills as a graphic designer for our posters, billboard and brochure, his gift as a youth organizer and theatrical producer, and his street smarts to engage people in true dialog about what it means to be a responsible man. From street theater, to videos in neighborhood theaters, to meeting men in their “clubs’, to training the trainers, Nimrod committed himself completely to the effort, convincing even one of his own family members to step up! As a result, on World Vasectomy Day 2016 we were shocked at the number of men who actually turned up to wait in line for a vasectomy. We expected 30, and did 72 during the day, and many more after. The demand has remained higher in Kenya as a result, with reports from doctors there that they’re still seeing an increased demand in their practice.
Our gratitude to Nimrod for all his creativity, energy, kindness, and commitment is expressed in this award, which he so richly deserves.
2016 – India, Dr. Ramchandra Kaza
Dr. Ramchandra Kaza is the father of no scalpel vasectomy in India. He was a successful surgeon in 1992 when he learned the no-scapel technique, and recognized that the value of this minor surgery to family planning was a needed, effective, and underutilized method of permanent contraception that had to be promoted in India. With government approval but no funding, and giving up his surgical practice, he set out to train doctors in 440 of India’s 600 districts, using his own funds until the government of India finally recognized the great value of his work to the nation. India now celebrates World Vasectomy Day for an entire month each year, largely due to the dedication of Dr. Kaza. Thank you, Dr. Kaza, for the lifetime of sacrifice and dedication to a noble and worthwhile educational effort on behalf of your country and all the others you have inspired.
2017 – Philippines/United States, Dr. Ramon Suarez
Finally, this year we also have a special lifetime award for another doctor who has spent his career promoting vasectomy as a responsible choice for men. Dr. Ramon Suarez, originally from the Philippines and now residing in Florida, started the organization No Scalpel Vasectomy International. With Doug, Ramon has been an ambassador for vasectomy around the world, performing thousands of vasectomies in Haiti, Kenya, Philippines, and many other places. It’s our pleasure to recognize and thank Ramon for his lifetime of promoting, educating, and demystifying the procedure for thousands of families worldwide. It’s a true honor to be able to acknowledge Dr. Suarez for his endless efforts on behalf of both NSVI and World Vasectomy Day, and to thank him in person on this, our fifth anniversary!