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A snip in time

Vasectomies are slowly gaining favour as a family planning method in North Sulawesi

Victoria Ngantung and Desta Pratama

Ismail Husein is a driving force in promoting vasectomies

Vasectomies are inexpensive, safe, simple to perform and highly effective in preventing pregnancy. But mention the word ‘vasectomy’ and most men recoil in horror. According to the National Coordinating Agency for Family Planning (BKKBN), 97 per cent of all birth control users are women and vasectomies account for just 0.2 per cent of total contraception use in Indonesia. A lack of information about male contraception, combined with limited health services and choice, contributes to the low rate of participation. According to the Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey, wealthy, educated men from urban areas have a better understanding of family planning than men from other backgrounds.

Family planning may remain high on the agenda for health service providers in Indonesia but, despite the potential benefits if men were included in the family planning process, so far the focus has mainly been on women. So how is it that a rural area in North Sulawesi has managed to achieve an increase in the number of men willing to undergo vasectomies? The key to encouraging adoption of this form of contraception has been the influence of farmer family planning groups.

City snips and country visits

The North Sulawesi branch of the BKKBN, the Walter Monginsidi Hospital and an NGO called Swara Parangpuan have been working

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