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Cablegate: Non-Scalpel Vasectomy Successfully Introduced In

VZCZCXRO7756
PP RUEHGI RUEHRN
DE RUEHLGB #0827 3381349
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041349Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6481
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP 0120
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0323

UNCLAS KIGALI 000827

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON RW
SUBJECT: NON-SCALPEL VASECTOMY SUCCESSFULLY INTRODUCED IN
RWANDA

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: USAID's Capacity and Twubakane (Building
Together) projects, implemented by the Government of Rwanda
(GOR) and U.S. private voluntary organization IntraHealth,
have successfully introduced vasectomy in Rwanda. Since
2008, over 445 men have undergone the procedure in 11 of
Rwanda's 30 districts. Vasectomy, a permanent method of
preventing unwanted pregnancies, has great potential to
enable Rwanda to further reduce fertility, which has already
declined from 6.6 live births per woman in 2005 to 5.5 in
2008. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Before 2008, vasectomy, a safe and highly effective
family planning method, was used infrequently in Rwanda.
Starting in 2008, under the leadership of the Ministry of
Health (MoH), the IntraHealth-led USAID Capacity Project in
Rwanda began to support training in the delivery of
no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV) in Nyabihu and Gicumbi districts.
Capacity/Rwanda, in partnership with MoH and district
authorities, designed and implemented a program to 1) train
doctors and nurses on counseling and deliver of NSV, 2)
sensitize local officials to the benefits of NSV, and 3)
develop information, education and communication (IEC)
materials to reduce social stigma associated with the
procedure. As of June 2009, trained providers in six
Capacity-supported districts had conducted 390 NSVs. The
IntraHealth-led Twubakane Decentralization and Health
Program, in collaboration with district partners, began
supporting training of NSV providers in April 2009. As of
September 2009, providers had conducted 55 NSVs in five
of Twubakane's districts.

3. (SBU) The Capacity Project closed in Rwanda in September
2009 and will close globally in March 2010. The Twubakane
Project will close in January 2010. IntraHealth is currently
compiling and analyzing data and project results for
activities undertaken both for the Capacity project and the
Twubakane program. In order to provide further data for
decision-makers within Rwanda, IntraHealth will collect
NSV-related data in IntraHealth's 13 partner hospitals that
are currently providing NSV. These 13 hospitals are Shyira
(Nyabihu district), Byumba (Gicumbi), Rutongo (Rulindo),
Musanze (Musanze), Kibilizi (Gisagara), Muhororo (Ngororero),
Kabutare (Huye), Kigeme (Nyamagame), Kaduha (Nyamagame),
Gitwe (Ruhango), Kabgayi (Muhanga), Rwamagana (Rwamagana),
and Kibungo (Ngoma). MoH will contine to lead this effort as
part of its national family planning program under the
direction of Dr. Fidele Ngabo, head of the department
responsible for family health services, and with the support
of the officer responsible for
health management information systems, Dr. Emilien Nkusi.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: Family planning is a sensitive topic in
Rwanda, as tradition here places a high value on large
families. At the same time, Rwandans are acutely aware that
land is scarce and theirs is the most densely-populated
country in Africa. The introduction of NSV in Rwanda by
IntraHealth, with support from USAID, is a real success that
has the potential to enhance greatly Rwandans' ability to
plan their families and prevent unwanted pregnancies. END
COMMENT.
SYMINGTON

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