TCI Supports Rawalpindi to Dispel Family Planning Myths and Misconceptions Among Men in Pakistan

May 10, 2024

Contributed by: Tanzil-Ur-Rehman

TCI Supports Rawalpindi to Dispel Family Planning Myths and Misconceptions Among Men in Pakistan

May 10, 2024

Contributed by: Tanzil-Ur-Rehman

District Technical Committee meeting with TCI and other partner organizations- Organized by the Department of Health in Rawalpindi District.

In Pakistan, men hold considerable sway over family planning decisions and often serve as their wives’ primary source of guidance. Male sterilization, particularly vasectomy, is significantly underutilized due to entrenched myths and misconceptions, perpetuating notions of sexual weakness and diminished pleasure. Recognizing the crucial role of men in family planning uptake, The Challenge Initiative (TCI) has advocated for dispelling myths and misconceptions surrounding family planning among men in Pakistan.

According to a 2019-2020 report by the Population Welfare Department, there is a stark contrast in the uptake of permanent methods between men and women, with 98% (1,245,920) of procedures being performed on women and only 2% (22,360) on men. The lack of accurate information, insufficiently trained personnel, and limited counseling services have exacerbated the reluctance of male clients to pursue vasectomy procedures. This not only hampers the overall contraceptive prevalence rate but also restricts health providers from promoting male sterilization as a viable option.

TCI has been working in Rawalpindi since June 2022. Part of its support includes increasing the effectiveness of the District Technical Committee (DTC) to enhance data-driven planning, inter-departmental coordination, problem-solving, and supervision to meet district targets. Convening monthly, this committee includes representatives from the Departments of Health and Population Welfare, as well as other relevant private-sector stakeholders.

During the January 2024 session, the committee decided to introduce separate counters for men in 14 health facilities in the Rawalpindi district. Male counselors from the Population Welfare Department will staff these counters to provide specialized services for men.

Dr. Ejaz Ahmad, CEO of the Department of Health, chaired the meeting and commended the initiative as a testament to the impact of collaborative efforts between the Health and Population Welfare departments. He emphasized that this venture would facilitate male counseling and disseminate accurate information about various family planning methods, especially male-specific options. It is hoped that this endeavor will dispel myths surrounding male sterilization, ultimately boosting contraceptive prevalence rates. Dr. Ejaz highlighted:

 This initiative is an example of collaboration and coordination between the health and population welfare departments for a common cause. it will not only provide an opportunity for male counseling but will also support in providing the correct information and knowledge about various family planning methods available, especially male-specific. This will further reduce myths and disbeliefs in a society associated with male sterilization, which will eventually (and hopefully) result in increasing the overall contraceptive prevalence rates.”

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