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Building Capacity for Quality Vasectomy Services in Burundi

Vasectomy is a minor operation for male sterilization that involves cutting and blocking the vas deferens duct which transports sperm from the testicles. The entire procedure takes approximately ten minutes to perform in a doctor’s office, and requires only local anesthesia administered via micro-needle. Latest techniques use a hair-width needle which causes less pain, anxiety and “stinging” than previous methods. Most men feel that “it is less bad than going to the dentist!” Vasectomy is a relatively simple, safe and inexpensive procedure. Yet it is extremely effective and involves no known health risks or impact on sexual vigor.

The Government of Burundi has taken a strong role in committing to both family planning overall and vasectomy specifically. Demographic pressures necessitated family planning scale-up and expanded methods to meet ambitious targets. With financial support from its historic partners, since 2014 the Government of Burundi has continued developing the capacity of a pool of doctors and nurses in vasectomy services. The Government’s commitments were followed by participation and support from its partners, including the United Nations Population Fund, to train numerous doctors and nurses.

The Integrated Health Project in Burundi (IHPB) joined this effort to contribute to the Government of Burundi’s commitment and trained five additional physicians and five additional nurses in vasectomy procedures. Additionally, IHPB followed up widely the support for family planning in general with a series of trainings for 2,049 community health workers from the 173 health facilities in which the project intervenes to support distributing contraceptives and increasing community awareness and uptake of family planning.

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