Rwandan government has launched a campaign of male castration in February in order to tackle the population growth that Rwanda has known for the last decade. According to the Rwandan Minister of Health, Richard Sezibera, Rwanda decided to tackle this growth at all costs. However, 99% of those targeted are Hutu Men one of the citizen said.
By Mike GAHUNDE, Kigali
Speaking to the Senate in February Richard Sezibera explained that the castration method used involves cutting the vas deferens tubes which makes a man permanently infertile so that they do not continue being a burden to the Rwandan government.
Although the Ministry of Health recommends this procedure as a contraception method, some hesitations and worries exist among men who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the operation.
49-year-old father of four, Sibomana Kamanutsi, from the Nyabihu District in north Rwanda where majority of the population are Hutus compares sterilisation with suicide. "I was told that they are going to cut my testicles. Have you seen a man without testicles? It’s impossible for me to use this method”He might be right or intelligent enough to know the Kagame's government plan of reducing the Hutu population as once Rose Kabuye said that if given opportunity, she would make the Hutu majority the minority. This government scheme is one of those pledges Kaminwa said.
The end of virility
NKUMBUYE Xavier (39), however, thinks that the aim of the sterilisation campaign is good but he disagrees with the method used. “Cutting my tubes is like ending my virility, I would prefer using tablets instead of an operation”, Mr Xavier thinks. Those who know him think that the reason is not openly discrediting this system is because he is a staunch supporter of the RPF government and he comes from Tutsi tribe, which should not be worried about the Hutu castration scheme.
But, Minister of Health Richard Sezibera says that sterilisation is in no way linked with men’s castration like most of them think. For him, sterilisation will just help tackling the population growth and promote Rwanda’s development whereby the population will stop increasing. This will help the RPF plan easily and have a surplus. “Castration or vasectomy in modern terms is the safest and most effective kind of birth control especially in the areas where there have been reported high incidents of insecurity and reluctant support of our policies'," Sezibera says.
Although Munyampundu believes that the sterilisation procedure ends his virility, Dr Jean Baptiste Habyarimana put an end to these worries. “Vasectomy does not limit having erections and ejaculations during sex. It doesn’t change sex life at all, but of course once you have practiced vasectomy is the end of getting another child. But Rwandans should understand that the government cannot continue spending or the donor money on the simple services” he explains.
People hard to reach
According to the Ministry of Health, vasectomy will be approximately applied to 700,000 to 1000,000 men mostly from the rural poor villages across the country such as the former Ruhengeri, Gisenyi, Byumba, Gikongoro, Kibuye, Cyngungu, and some districts from Southern Province where there are many rural poor people.
During a press conference, the Minister of Health stressed that before the operation is done, men will be asked to sign consent and that the couple will have to sign an agreement.
Overall, Dr. Habyarimana, thinks the initiative is good but it is hard for the Ministry of Health to mobilise people in rural areas that have not yet understand the importance of birth control. Especially those who live according to religious or cultural principles think that using contraception is a sin. And also I am wondering why the government should not enhance condom distribution practices instead of forcing people to stop giving birth.
According to the press department of the Ministry of Health, statistics from various health centres show that not many men have begun to enroll for this operation because they are worried that this might be a scheme to reduce the reproduction of the Hutu people since they are the majority and cuase a threat to the Tutsi government which is led by Kagame since 1994 with the support of Western leaders such as Bill CLinton of USA, Tony Blair of UK, Ban Ki Moon of UN, and the USA Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren who has been a darling of President Kagame and one of the Kagame's spiritual and political advisers. Rwandan people should think beyond population growth and ask themselves why Kagame want them castrated....One of the university student at Rwanda National University said.
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