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Kenyan Scientists Develop Birth control Pill For men

Discussion in 'JF Doctor' started by Nairoberry, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Nairoberry

    Nairoberry JF-Expert Member

    Apr 5, 2012
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    researchers in Kenya are in the process of developing a male contraceptive pill that will be based on an immunology platform. A team of scientists from the Institute of Primate Research (IPR) is working on a strategy that involves identifying a unique protein present only in the reproductive system that can elicit a specific immune response that will then induce reversible infertility.

    If all goes according to plan, the researchers will then develop a male pill to be taken daily, a patch or gel to be applied on the skin, an injection given every three months, or an implant placed under the skin every 12 months.

    By targeting the male of the species, the scientists at IPR have dispensed with the myth that only females can effectively help in birth control. And with Kenya’s population growing by about a million people annually, they have every reason to stem this growth, which is not supported by corresponding economic growth.

    The only available means of birth control for men over the years have been prophylactic sheaths and vasectomy, and the latter has seen a slow uptake.

    “The (planned) introduction of a male family planning pill is a good idea,” said Dr Thomas Kariuki, the IPR director and senior research scientist at the facility. “But convincing Kenyan men to accept it is likely to be an uphill task, based on preliminary surveys.”

    One of the men whom Dr Kariuki and his team will have to convince to use their new product is Mr Julius Odongo, a father-of-seven who comes from one of the most populous regions in the country — Nyanza. “Family planning is a female affair,” says Mr Odongo, “and even then, I wouldn’t advise my wife to start using these things. The primary role of a woman is to give birth, and I fear that encouraging contraceptive use will lead to promiscuity.”

    For Mr Odongo, the best way to space children is through what he calls “natural means”, which means birth control without using pills, injectables, patches, or other prophylactics.

    But Dr Peter Mwethera, a senior scientist with IPR, says that, despite challenges posed by the likes of Mr Odongo, the team is optimistic that it will come up with a contraceptive that will change the mindset of Kenyan men.

    “The global population recently reached seven billion, up from one billion just 1,000 years ago,” says Dr Mwethera. “Closer home, Kenyan population was just eight million at independence in 1963, today we are inching towards 40 million heads. Surely, something must be done if we are to achieve our development goals.

    “A new and wide range of contraceptives is required to address this high growth rate, and the new products must meet the varying cultural, religious, personal, and service needs of all populations, particularly in the developing world.”

    But, as researchers burn the midnight oil to address men’s family planning needs, Planned Parenthood, a non-profit organisation providing reproductive health and maternal and child health services, says these are misplaced priorities.

    Men are not completely at a loss for contraception, says the organisation. They can choose from other options that include condoms and vasectomy.

    Farther afield, researchers at Columbia University Medical Centre are polishing up the development, for the first time, of a non-steroidal, oral contraceptive for men. Tests of low doses of a compound that interferes with retinoic acid receptors (RARs) showed that it caused sterility in male mice.

    Researchers also found that low doses of the drug stopped sperm production with no apparent side effects. And crucial for a contraceptive, normal fertility was restored soon after drug administration was stopped.

    A birth control pill for men  - DN2 |
  2. Nairoberry

    Nairoberry JF-Expert Member

    Apr 5, 2012
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    well this is another first from Kenya, though its basic knowledge that Kenyans are endowed in science and almost came close to discovering the cure to HIV/AIDS in 1992 the discovery of that pill could have wide reaching outcome, it can be revolutionary like the viagara. but which man would take a pill its my humble request that the scientist put more effort into more important issues like other tropical diseases
  3. m

    matsuo Senior Member

    Apr 5, 2012
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    I think the idea is prudent. There are situations where a wife is hyper sensitive to birth control therapy and yet they want to limit child birth. In that case with a good compromise they can opt for the man to take. Men will eventually accept the idea; we live n a changing world. The scientists should however device convenient modes of delivery. I doubt any man would accept a daily pill
  4. Abdulhalim

    Abdulhalim JF-Expert Member

    Apr 5, 2012
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    Seems to me it is a 'write-up', not even a project YET..hii ndio 'aggressiveness' ya wakenya..#lol