Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rush For Male Circumcision in Rural Areas

Via the Daily Monitor, by Evelyn Lirri.

Godfrey Aganza had never considered getting circumcised. The misconceptions that came with a circumcised non-Muslim man, including being considered a covert or the alleged future risk of impotence largely discouraged him from the cut. But that has changed now.

On June 7, this year, the 18-year-old senior three student of Kayunga Secondary School, joined the long queue of other men at a mobile circumcision clinic currently stationed at Bbaale Health Centre IV in Kayunga District, 74 kilometres northeast of Kampala.

Together with his peers, they arrived at the mobile clinic as early as 8am in the morning to halfheartedly give it a try.

It was only after the operation that Mr Aganza felt satisfied with the decision that he had made.

“I am happy I have done it now. It wasn’t painful and I feel okay,” he said moments after coming out of the “operating room”- a large, well equipped truck with the essential tools needed to carry out an operation.

“I have also been told of the health benefits of being circumcised and of course a circumcised man has a lower chance of contracting HIV/Aids,”he added.

Mr Anganza is not alone. I met Aaron Lubega, a 30-year-old police officer five days after he had been circumcised. When he first arrived at the mobile clinic, he did not know what to expect. Like all the other men who come to the mobile clinic, he was taken through a session of counseling so that he could fully understand the health benefits of circumcision.

Mr Lubega had heard about the free circumcision services from fellow residents in Kayunga town, many of who have already gone through the surgical procedure. “At the trading centre, the men talked about the mobile clinic and the benefits of being circumcised that’s why I came here to first hear from the health workers and then get circumcised myself,”he said.

Simple task

Mr Lubega, a single father of one, said the process was so simple and painless that shortly after being circumcised, he managed to ride a motorcycle on a 10km-long journey. In this remote region, residents have embraced circumcision almost 100 per cent.

The free medical male circumcision programme which has been rolled out in the districts of Kayunga and Mukono is being implemented by the Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) in partnership with local governments. It’s funded through the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.

Mark Breda, a programme manager at MUWRP, said since the initiative was rolled out in February, close to 7,000 men have been circumcised in the various sub counties in Kayunga and Mukono districts.

“We shall continue with the mobile clinic. The demand is nowhere close to being met,” said Mr Breda.

The target, he says, is to have to have up to 4.5 million men circumcised over the next five years across the various sites.

Read the rest here.

[If an item is not written by an IRMA member, it should not be construed that IRMA has taken a position on the article's content, whether in support or in opposition.]
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