Marie Stopes International Australia

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Men take responsibility for family planning

“It’s time for me to take responsibility”

Chum Dam, 41, is happy with the size of his family. He lives in rural Cambodia with his wife, three daughters and son. His wife had been using an implant but when she needed to have it removed he decided it was his turn to take responsibility for contraception.

“My wife has always had to have the contraception but it’s time for me to take over now, especially as we have agreed that we don’t want any more children – my oldest is 17 and my youngest is 13 years old.

“My friend had a vasectomy last month and said it all went fine so I decided to come here today for the procedure. I’m a bit nervous because I’m scared of needles but I’m sure everything will be fine.”

Chum Dam was able to come for a vasectomy just 3km from where he lives, thanks to the Marie Stopes International Cambodia outreach team. They travel to government health clinics across the country and provide long term and permanent methods of contraception, to complement the short term methods provided by the government.

Vasectomy is still not widely accepted in Cambodia and Chum Dam is something of a rarity – of the 42 people who came to see the outreach team on that day, he was the only man. But hopefully that is starting to change.

Chum Dam returned to his community feeling great and ready to tell other men how simple the procedure was. He added: “I feel fine. I don’t know what I was so worried about!”

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