Organizing a Public-Sector Vasectomy Program in Brazil
Although models of high-quality FP services for men exist in Latin America, few if any have been organized within the complex and resource-constrained national public health systems. This study provides evidence from the Santa Barbara project in southern Brazil showing how vasectomy was introduced into the municipal health system. It demonstrates that once the necessary operational and quality-of-care improvements were in place, and sufficient political and technical support existed to proceed, it was possible to establish low-cost, well-used, and sustainable vasectomy services free of charge. Careful attention to the development of strong technical competence and an informed choice process resulted in high user satisfaction. Focus-group discussions with men who underwent vasectomy indicate that they had no objection to being served in the context of a women’s health center and that they act as opinion leaders who draw an increasing clientele to the service.