Family planning is a topic long considered taboo in Pakistani society. However, awareness and acceptance of family planning is growing among the masses with male nurses becoming an influential force in promoting family planning methods and providing services.
Mukhtiar Hussain is a male nurse who works in a government dispensary in the district east of Karachi Division. He is a trained and experienced family planning counselor who has worked in this field for 10 years.
Hussain recently received on-the-job training in contraceptive implant insertion from Dr. Salma Rasheed (facility-in-charge), who had been coached in family planning service provision by The Challenge Initiative (TCI). This training boosted Hussain’s confidence and improved his skills, and he now performs implant insertion, a family planning method that involves inserting a small, flexible rod under the skin of the upper arm. The rod releases hormones that prevent pregnancy for up to three years.
Many clients are interested in this method because it is a long-term and effective way to prevent pregnancy. However, some women have expressed concerns about the procedure being performed by a male nurse. They are worried about the social stigma and backlash they may face if they are seen visiting a male nurse for such a procedure.
Despite these concerns, Hussain said his patients are receptive and open to the idea of a male nurse performing the implant insertion. He has also received positive feedback from the community and his colleagues, who recognize the importance of providing accessible and comprehensive family planning services.
Accepting male nurses performing implant insertion for family planning is a significant step forward in Pakistani culture, where gender roles are often strictly defined. Hussain’s story highlights the changing attitudes towards family planning in Pakistani society. It also shows that male nurses play a critical role in raising awareness and providing family planning services.