Rwandan Health Ministry Campaign Promotes Vasectomy For Family Planning

“Rwanda’s health ministry has launched a campaign encouraging men to undergo vasectomies, in an effort to curb population growth in Africa’s most densely populated country,” Reuters reports. The government says to compete with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, the country’s economy must continue to grow at an average seven to eight percent per year, and to do so, “the birth rate must be below three children per family,” according to the news agency.

“Arthur Asiimwe, a communications official at the health ministry, said the campaign targets families who have more than five or six children,” adding that it is “quite unfair” that family planning initiatives in the country have focused only on women, Reuters notes. The use of contraception among married women has increased from 10 percent in 2005 to 45 percent in 2010, according to Rwanda’s 2010 Demographic and Health Survey, but some married men are reluctant to undergo vasectomies because of fears it will hurt their sexual performance or something will happen to their children and they may desire more (Holliday/Hakizimana, 9/6).