Catherine Murombedzi H I V Walk
This year saw more men being circumcised as compared to last year, according to the Head of Aids and TB Unit in the Health and Child Care Ministry Dr Owen Mugurungi. About 90 000 men underwent the procedure against a targeted 115 000 while last year 40 755 men were circumcised nationwide. “This year’s output marks a significant increase as compared to 2012 when 40 755 males were circumcised. A remarkable feat in that 90 000 were circumcised,” he said.
According to the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey 2010-2011, male circumcision is a common practice in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, commonly performed for traditional, health and other reasons. In Zimbabwe, 10 percent of men are circumcised. Randomised control trials carried out in South Africa, Uganda and Kenya showed that medical male circumcision has a protective effect of 60 percent against HIV transmission. The Government in 2009 adopted circumcision as one of the comprehensive HIV prevention strategies. The programme, through the Ministry of Health and Child Care and its partners, has this year successfully circumcised 90 000 men. With the Christmas holidays upon us more males could undergo the procedure thereby raising the figure. The Health Ministry aims to ensure that voluntary medical male circumcision services are available to all communities countrywide. Various strategies to ensure safe male circumcision services have been employed, which include training doctors, nurses and supporting team members to offer this much needed service.