Bungoma Man Undergoes Vasectomy After Fathering 12 Children

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World Vasectomy Day is marked to reduce the stigma around the procedure which entails a birth control method for men.
 

 In Bungoma County, a 37-year-old man, Bonface Ngashina, is among the few who have embraced vasectomy in the county.

 

During the 2023 Sensitisation Event in Kenya which was held in Bungoma County bringing together non-governmental organizations and government representatives, Boniface said he accepted the procedure after fathering 12 children.

 

 

Speaking to Citizen Digital on Friday, the father of 12 daughters took a bold step to share his journey before and after he underwent the vasectomy procedure.

 

 

 

Ngashina forms the minute statistics of Vasectomy uptake in Kenya and the world at large

Ngashina and his 36-year-old wife, Lilian Waswa, a mother of 4 daughters who has been married for over two decades live together at their home in Sikata Village, South Bukusu ward.

He initially had 4 daughters with his customary wedded wife but desired a boy child and had to get out of his marriage to try his luck with other women.

From one woman to another, unfortunately for him, Ngashina fired eight shots but all the women bore him daughters raising the number to 12.

“Nilishtukia wamefika 12 na sijapata kijana,sina kazi ya maana mimi napiga tu kibarua kupaka tu rangi…Nikaamua Sasa kulea tu hao watoto,” he said.

On why he needed a boy, he said: “In Bukusu tradition, a boy child is really valued, because he will grow into a strong man who can father a homestead and also defend his father’s family.”

As for his wife Lilian, the husband’s act of getting more children outside their marriage brought nothing but heartache.

 

 

“Women, some pregnant and some with kids used to come here, seeking to be given a place to live. Some brought kids to be shaved and that’s how I used to learn of his extramarital affairs. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore,” she recalled.

When Ngashina realized that he had 12 children already and he only did manual jobs, he became humbled before his wife, had a candid talk as a couple and as a sign of remorse they came up with a decision for him to undergo the procedure.

 The move was also significant for Bonface to collectively use his little earnings to raise his children and also to relieve his wife of the burden of family planning.

 

 

Years later, the couple says they were blessed with a baby boy from a quota they listed expected when their 21-year-old daughter got married and bore a baby boy. The couple, now grannies, ‘adopted’ the baby named Baby Ngashina Junior who is now 8 months old and still living with them.

“God remembered me, he finally gave me a baby boy through my first daughter. I am praying for them to get more son,” the elated Lilian said.

“I am very happy to have a grandson, he has filled the gap and brought so much joy and peace to this family. I love him so much, and have already allocated him his share of my land,” Boniface added.

Ngashina’s decision to undergo vasectomy, however, did not go well with his associates.

According to the couple, the Bukusu elders considered the action a taboo and so did their close family and friends.

“It is a decision I made in my house with my wife, I could care less about what they said about me,” he said.

Lilian’s father too was a worried man of the decision his son-in-law took and advised his daughter otherwise.

Ngashina’s experience after undergoing vasectomy is a representation of what other men go through, some even do it secretly for fear of being vilified.

Dr.Bonface Odira who has performed Bilateral Tubal Litigation (BTL), permanent Contraceptive Method for women and Vasectomy services at Bungoma County Referral Hospital for the last three years says that men have started responding positively compared to the past years.

“Vasectomy uptake in Bungoma area is low but men have started coming up to take the family planning Journey,” he said.

A random interview with Bungoma men regarding vasectomy found that out of every four men, three believed that vasectomy is castration, a major reason for the low uptake of the male family control method.

The assumption was disqualified by the medics in the department.

According to Dr.Odira, after the Vasectomy procedure, ejaculation still takes place but the ejaculation product is semen without sperms.

“In vasectomy, we actually pick just the tube that carries the sperms but the blood supply to the testicles is intact and the nerve supply to the testicles is intact. The testicles are actually able to do all their functions including producing all the hormones which make a man a man and able to produce even the sperm. The only difference is that the sperm is not able to cross to meet with the ovum,” the doctor explained.

 

 

Another challenge that the doctor said is common among men who preregister for the procedure is the cost of service.

In Bungoma County Referral Hospital, for instance, vasectomy is currently done at Ksh.1,000, a charge he says seems too high for most clients.

According to the Ministry of Health in Kenya, in the year 2020, 416 men took up Vasectomy, 251 uptakes in 2021, and 547 in 2022 while 280 men had undergone the procedure as of September 2023.

“It’s because of scales, and equipment that is required, there has been less drive for the permanent methods of the long-lasting irresponsible methods,” UNFPA’s reproductive health advisor Dr Dan Okoro said regarding factors derailing the exercise.

He said that UNFPA is working closely with various partners like Marie Stope to build the capacity of health facilities and train doctors and clinicians who can provide the service.

Dr.Edward Serem, the Head of the Division of Reproductive and Martanal Health in the Ministry of Health Kenya on her part said the government intends to increase awareness of birth control methods by use of Universal Health Providers after further training.

He noted that currently, Nairobi is leading the country in the number of men taking vasectomies.

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