Doctor's Philippines quest
A COUNTY Wexford doctor is representing Ireland on a mission to the Philippines later this month as part of a global effort to promote and provide free No-Scalpel Vasectomy operations in developing countries with rapid population growth.
Dr Saleem Osman who runs a practice in Wellingtonbridge, will join eight other doctors from around the world to perform vasectomies on over 500 men over the space of eight days.
Speaking in his brightly coloured office, Dr Osman said: 'I feel very honoured and privileged to be doing this. We are all volunteering as medical missionaries to curb the world population by helping men who want this procedure, which is a free no scalpel vasectomy.'
Dr Osman studied last year under American physician Dr. Steven Shu, who developed the new procedure which does not require stitching in patients and is much quicker than the traditional vasectomy method which is commonly practised in Ireland today. Dr Osman is also a member of the Primary Care Surgical Association (PCSA).
He has been practicing Medicine and Surgery for the past 27 years and has 15 years experience as a General Practitioner in Ireland.
He is travelling to Cebu Island in the Philippines on January 30 where he will open a general practice clinic for three days prior to working on the project.
A vasectomy has long been known to be the most effective and affordable way for a couple to pursue long-term contraception. Dr Osman said No scalpel vasectomy (NSV) is a modern vasectomy, which is safer and more effective, and the procedure typically would take about 10-15 minutes.
Describing the project as 'a mission to save humanity', Dr Osman said the population of The Philippines has been growing at an alarming rate in recent years as people can't afford contraception, adding that the population now stands at around 120 million.
Originally from Hyderabad, Dr Osman was educated in England and through Cairo and holds a Diplomate in Psychiatry (D.C.P.) from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Ireland.
He said people in developing countries like The Philippines often don't have access to basic services like clean water and hospitals.
'It's a way for me to give a little bit back. The more people the bigger the demand on services. I think it's important to make people aware of the over population issue and about vasectomies.'
The NSV mission is sponsored by No Scalpel Vasectomy International Inc. (NSVI), which has been providing free NSV services since 2001. The mission of NSVI is to promote and provide free No-Scalpel Vasectomy services worldwide, but especially in developing countries whose infrastructure and environmental resources are challenged by rapid population growth unchecked by established and/or effective family planning programs.
Dr Osman, who performs No-scalpel vasectomies at his clinic at a cost of €350, said no anaesthetic is required and no stitching. He said there is only a one in 2,000 failure rate, adding that people can return to work within three to seven days afterwards.
'I want to encourage men to take responsibility for planned parenthood. It's not just the woman who takes all the hits and the risks with taking the pill etc. This is a once off for a couple to consider once they have completed their family.'
He said although no child is unwanted the unexpected birth of a child can come as a shock to a couple, adding that the cost of rearing a child to age 18 is around €100,000.
The no scalpel vasectomy procedure performed in the mission is voluntary, and it is only for those who are interested. An NSV orientation will be conducted for clients to know the facts about NSV and to address questions including misconceptions. Medicines will be provided to the clients, and financial assistance will be extended by the sponsor to the family as income replacement.