The City Health Office (CHO), through its Population Division, on Monday spearheaded the celebration of World Vasectomy Day which aims to advocate for vasectomy as a safer and cheaper option for permanent contraception.

The celebration kicked off with a motorcade participated in by various sectors of the local government. A ‘No Scalpel Vasectomy Forum’ was then held at the SM City Davao to explain the Non-Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV) procedure to barangay health workers in the city.

Davao City started celebrating the World Vasectomy Day in 2014 and has since seen a vast improvement in the acceptance rate of the NSV procedure among the city’s male population. This, according to CHO Head panel member of the forum Dr. Tomas Miguel Ababon who recounted the difficulty of generating clients willing to receive the procedure in the first few years the NSV was offered by the CHO back in 2008.

Ababon said the NSV procedure was “hard to sell” as a more sensible family planning method as this required an overhaul of the traditional approach to contraception which mostly put the responsibility on women.

Although vasectomy remains an “unpopular mode of family planning”, Ababon said more and more individuals are realizing the merits of the procedure. With the help from the city’s barangay health workers and consistent information and education campaigns, Ababon said the stigma surrounding permanent male contraception will be effectively dispelled.

“This is a very, very sensitive matter for some of the men in the population. Dili kaayo ni siya accepted (This is not very widely accepted). But your presence here is a sign that we are slowly getting the support of the population in promoting vasectomy,” he said, addressing the barangay health workers in attendance.

Other panel members of the plenary session–Medical Health Officer of Toril B Health Center Dr. Titus Theodore Antonio, Tugbok Health Center Medical Health Officer Dr. Laredo Rabang, and Reach Health USAID Regional Manager Dr. Lady Jedfeliz Molleno–answered questions regarding the NSV and corrected erroneous assumptions surrounding the procedure.

All experts insisted that no harm will come to the recipient of the procedure. They explained that the non-invasive NSV can be done in 10-15 minutes with relatively little aftercare, in comparison with the highly invasive ligation procedure where women are required a few months of bed-rest after. The panel also vehemently reiterated that a vasectomy cannot affect one’s masculinity and sexual performance.

Meanwhile, City Council Committee on Health Member Councilor Lorenzo Villafuerte, delivering a message from city mayor Sebastian Duterte, lauded the efforts of the CHO in promoting vasectomy as a viable family planning method and for continuously offering the NSV for free. He also said that the city will continue to support the NSV program and the information and education campaign for male contraception.

“Let us further support these kinds of endeavors aimed at educating and shaping our community to live healthier lives through the help of effective family planning,” he said.

From January to October of this year, the City Population Division of the CHO has performed the NSV procedure on 89 clients. CIO