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23.06.2004 General News

KATH launches vasectomy programme

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Kumasi, June 23, GNA - A total of 52 Ghanaian men have so far undergone vasectomy operation, a male contraceptive procedure to prevent them from giving birth.

Twenty-six of them did the operation last year, while another 26 did it within January and March this year.

Mrs Patience Darko, a representative of Engerderhealth of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), made this known at the launch of the vasectomy programme at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi on Wednesday.

She said the gradual patronage of the vasectomy operation among men was due to the intensive public education campaign, which had been mounted by the GHS to promote vasectomy, which was the simplest form of contraception in the country.

Mrs Darko said vasectomy had been one of the family planning methods in the country but due to lack of knowledge and awareness, most men were finding it difficult to patronise it.

She said GHS had trained doctors, nurses, counsellors and other health officials from some selected hospitals in the country to provide quality service to men who wished to undergo the operation. Mrs Darko appealed to men to patronise the method, adding that the best gift husbands could give to their wives were to undertake the vasectomy in order to promote the health of their wives and children. Dr Robert Kweku Sagoe, officer in-charge of KATH vasectomy programme, said so far, 12 men had undertaken the method at the hospital since its introduction.

He said 42 million men worldwide had undertaken the method with 120,000 of them coming from Africa.

Dr Sagoe attributed the low patronage of the method in Africa to lack of effective public education messages, incomplete and incorrect information on the method as well as lack of qualified health personnel to undertake the operation.

He said KATH was currently training health officials, counsellors and nurses, while efforts were also being made to acquire modern equipment to provide efficient services to the public. Dr Sagoe said vasectomy was the cheapest form of contraceptive method and appealed to men to patronise it.

Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, Chief Executive Officer of KATH, said the launching of the programme was part of the activities marking the 50th anniversary of the hospital.

He said the board and management of the hospital were making strenuous efforts to promote the hospital into a centre of excellence and urged the public to support it. 23 June 04

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