Excited young — and not so young — men flock to circumcision camp in PMB

2010-07-02 00:00

DESPITE the chilly weather, excited and nervous men from the midlands, one as old as 64, came out in huge numbers to be circumcised in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The men, aged 15 and older, arrived from as far as Impendle, Richmond and Mkhambathini.

The operations took place at the FET Plessislaer campus yesterday morning. They had prepared to spend a cold night on the campus, armed with blankets and big bags.

The chief director for the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department, Sandile Buthelezi, said he is impressed with the numbers of men who turned up.

“We had only targeted to attend to 150 young men between the ages of 15 and 25, but we ended up having 183 … “I just attended to a 64-year-old man,” said Buthelezi.

Although circumcision camps will be open only during school holidays, Buthelezi said public hospitals can do the operations every day.

Ndumiso Ngcobo (20) from Imbali said he has been looking forward to having the operation. “When I heard about this opportunity, I decided to join in. This is to protect myself from being easily infected with diseases, although I will never have sex without a condom.

“It will definitely make me feel like a real man, but most importantly it will make me feel safer,” said Ngcobo.

Nhlakanipho Mngadi (21) from Emaqongqo said he feels safer being circumcised by medical practitioners.

Nkululeko Ngubane (18) from KwaMpande, who was in pain after the operation, said he was proud.

“They told me that the wound will only heal after six weeks,” he said.

uMgungundlovu district health manager May Zuma-Mkhonza said other circumcision camps will be run in the next school holidays.

She said the process partly involves counselling newly circumcised men about the way they should conduct themselves. “Those who were circumcised today will sleep over here so that tomorrow health officials and traditional leaders can talk to them,” she said. The KZN Health Department is targeting more than four million men for circumcision over five years.

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