One day, while 55-year-old Kangni Kpessou was listening to Nana FM*, an interesting programme on vasectomy came on air. He had never heard about vasectomy, hence his interest to learn more about it. The programme was co-produced by Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial (ATBEF), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Togo.
“I knew about ATBEF because I had been going there for almost 10 years whenever I took my wife for gynaecological consultations. It is also where my children went when they fell ill. But I did not know they offered vasectomy services, so I was really interested in learning more”, he remembers.
Kangni had discussed family planning with his wife a few weeks prior, but nothing conclusive had been decided. The couple revisited the discussion a few days after the radio show aired and secured an appointment for Kangni at the ATBEF. On the day he went to the clinic, Kangni says he was warmly received by the guards, nurses and doctors.
“The doctor patiently took his time to explain the vasectomy procedure to me in a detailed manner while answering all my questions and calming my worries. Satisfied, I made my final decision. Having 11 children was sufficient reason for me to choose to do a vasectomy”, he recalls.
The vasectomy was done at ATBEF’s clinic in April 2012. Noting the professionalism of the ATBEF team, Kangni says he was impressed by the after-care and follow-up services he received after the surgery. The vasectomy was of great benefit to Kangni and his family.
“Since we were not on any family planning method, I’m sure we would have gotten more children, yet we were already struggling to provide for the 11 we had. Since the vasectomy, our minds have been at ease as we haven’t had to worry anymore about another baby coming.”
Kangni’s wife has been a great source of encouragement. She even participated in forums where she talks about the benefits of vasectomy and the role of men in family planning.
“My experience has taught me that men too can take up family planning instead of fully placing this responsibility on women. Interestingly, my friends who hear my story find my decision very strange. This is because in Togo, men rarely involve themselves in matters of family planning as they are considered to be women’s affairs,” he says.
Since his vasectomy, Kangni has been educating fellow men about their involvement in family planning. He has also been trained by ATBEF as a family planning champion.
“I am happy that men who hear my story go to ATBEF to seek more information about vasectomy, and some have even taken up the service!” Kangni says.
ATBEF vasectomy procedures (2017 – 2020)
2017 :20 vasectomy procedures
2018 : 16 vasectomy procedures
2019 : 19 vasectomy procedures
2020 : 25 vasectomy procedures
*ATBEF works in partnership with Nana FM to promote sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Togo.