November is synonymous with World Vasectomy Day and this coming November 13-20th, 2021, we celebrate our 9th straight year with more activities than ever.
As well as our regular events, including the WVD 2nd annual Vasectomy Provider Summit (November 13), the 4th annual Symposium for Male Engagement in Family Planning and Sexual and Reproductive Health (November 17), and our 9th 24 Hour Global Celebration (November 18, 5:00 p.m. (EST), to November 19, 5:00 p.m. (EST), WVD is organizing a unique mission to La Paz, to train four doctors who work for MSI – Marie Stopes Bolivia, (November 1 – 8).
The idea for this trip was born last year, when MSI first joined the WVD global campaign. In 2020, using their very talented in-house communication team, MSI launched a series of funny, and very successful, Tik Tok videos (https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMRK2nRRx/) and to everyone’s surprise, hundreds of men signed up to get a vasectomy – more than the entire previous year!
Sounds like a great success, but the problem was that the organization didn’t have any in-house providers. They had traditionally hired outside urologists but their services cost more per procedure than the actual fee charged to clients. Clearly, losing money is not a sustainable model so, together with country director Ana Cecilia Vazquez, we agreed to set up a training program to leave behind 4 qualified in house vasectomy providers. The goal is to have one assigned to a different MSI clinic located in the country’s four largest States. This will reduce costs to the organization and lower fees for its clients.
Leading the project are expert trainers and providers, Dr. John Curington and Dr. Michel Labrecque. Both assert that 20 clients is a minimal number of cases each trainee should work with to assure that they are prepared to handle the majority of the cases they will encounter going forward. This means to train 4 doctors, WVD and MSI Bolivia have to create a demand generation campaign to attract 80 clients. It’s a formidable task, but following last year’s success, the team is optimistic that we’ll succeed.
In addition, Dr. Labrecque has been developing a new training model he’ll share during the mission. He hopes it will increase a doctor’s success rate going forward. Accompanying them on the trip to help document the world and oversee the program is Alison Hoover who recently graduated with a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University.
Assuring demand while increasing quality of care go hand in hand and so we are honored to support MSI Bolivia as we help to spread awareness about male engagement in family planning. Together we are confident we can build a positive attitude towards vasectomy among male public, especially in this part of the globe.
Some data about Bolivia
According to the 2017 Census, made by National Health Information System – Epidemiological Surveillance of the Ministry of Health, de los más de 2,8 millones de hombres mayores de 18 años que hay en Bolivia, 353 se realizaron una vasectomía en 2017. Men between the ages of 20 and 34 are the ones who most opt for this contraceptive method.