Objective: To determine the awareness and practice of vasectomy among male health workers at University College Hospital, Ibadan and the influence of socio-demographic factors.
Method: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study in which structured self-administered questionnaires were used to interview married male health workers at the University College Hospital, Ibadan between May and July 2006.
Results: Two hundred and fifty responses were analysed. The mean age was 36.7 (+/- 5.4) years. Two hundred and thirty nine (95.6%) respondents were married, 10 (4.0%) were separated while one (0.4%) was divorced. One hundred and fifty-one (60.4%) respondents were medical doctors while 34 (13.6%) were laboratory scientists. Fourteen (5.6%) respondents were pharmacists while 9 (3.6%) and 23 (9.2%) of the respondents were records officers and nurses respectively. Nineteen (7.6%) respondents belonged to other professions. Two hundred and twenty five respondents (90%) knew about vasectomy while twenty five respondents (10%) were not aware of it. One hundred and forty-five (58.0%) of the respondents were unwilling to accept sterilisation as a contraceptive procedure while 48 (19.2%) were willing to accept it and the remaining respondents 57 (22.8%) were uncertain. The cadre of medical profession and being previously aware of vasectomy were statistically significant with the willingness to accept vasectomy (chi(2) = 20.943, p= 0.021 and chi(2) = 10.666, p = 0.005 respectively). However none of the respondents had ever had vasectomy done.
Conclusion: Some health workers are not aware of vasectomy or have some misconceptions about it. Family planning and contraception should be inculcated into the curricula of schools producing health workers such as laboratory scientists, radiographers etc. This will go a long way in improving their knowledge and attitude to vasectomy.