CHO notes low turnout of 6-year vasectomy program

THE CITY Health Office is finding it difficult to promote no scalpel vasectomy due to the culture of patriarchy. In an interview at the sidelines of the weekly Kapehan sa SM, assistant city health officer Samuel Cruz said there have only

been around 400 patients who availed of the procedure since the program was introduced in the city in 2008.

“The problem is that the patients equate vasectomy to castration,” Cruz said. “It is not.”

Speaking at the SM press conference, CHO population officer Jeff Fuentes said the procedure is non-invasive and that it only involved a small puncture through the skin on the scrotum.

Through the small puncture, the vas tube is cut and sealed to stop the sperm from being ejaculated.

Fuentes said the procedure did not require stitches.

“People, especially men, think that the procedure will lessen their manhood,” Cruz said. “It will not.”

Cruz also clarified that the procedure only takes a few minutes and will not lessen the sexual drive of the patients.

He said the procedure was so painless that if a patient, for example goes to the City Health Office for an appointment, the same patient can ride the same vehicle back home.

“The blood from the procedure would not even be more than one cotton ball,” he said.

The procedure is free, according to Cruz, and is available every last Friday of the month.

The CHO officials were guests at the press conference to promote the World Vasectomy Day event to be held tomorrow, Nov. 5.

Fuentes said the CHO no longer used classical vasectomy, which involved surgery and a longer time to heal.

The free service comes in the midst of an annual rise in population in the city.

Fuentes said the city’s projected population for 2014 was 1.6 million, from around 1.4 million in 2010.

According to the city’s Comprehensive Investment Plan for Health (CIPH), the city’s population for 2010 has tripled from its size of 392,473 in 1970.

Population exceeded 500,000 by 1980, and reached 1 million in 1995.

“From the 2000 Census of Population and Housing, Davao City’s total population was 1,147,116 populations which translated to 2.36 per cent growth from 2000 to 2010. For 2007, the population count reached 1,366,153 further translated to a 2.17 per cent growth up to 2010. Although, population growth slowed down from 2007 to 2010, if the 2.36 per cent increase continues, the population of Davao City is expected to double in 32 years.

“Based on the 2010 Census, Davao City accounted for 1.57 percent of the total Philippine population of 92.34 million. Davao City has the largest population in the Southern Mindanao Region cornering 32.43 per cent of the 4.46 million people in in 2010. It also shared 5.71 per cent of the total population of 25.375 million in Mindanao,” the CIPH said.

In an earlier interview in October, City Health Officer Josephine Villafuerte said the city, while having the highest and densest population in the region, had a high demand for contraceptives and other family planning methods.

This, she said, was due to a high reproductive health education even among indigenous peoples.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, for example, has incorporated the subdermal patch contraceptive called Implanon into its 4Ps program.

“The awareness has been so high that we have had patients telling other patients about the program, and that’s how they find out about it,” Villafuerte said.

Demand, Villafuerte added, was higher than supply, with the CHO relying on donations of the contraceptive devices from organizations such as Mindanao Health, a Johns Hopkins-accredited non-government office.

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