KZN’s use of circumcision device opposed

2012-08-24 00:00

THE Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has laid a complaint with the Public Protector to investigate the insistence by the KwaZulu-Natal government to use the Tara Klamp male circumcision device.

Patrick Mdletshe, the KwaZulu-Natal chairperson of the TAC, said he laid the complaint on behalf of the organisation on August 2 and had already received an acknowledgment of receipt from the PP’s office. By last night, the provincial Public Protector’s office was still trying to verify the complaint.

“First we want the PP to investigate the ongoing use of the Tara Klamp; this device is only used in KwaZulu-Natal. And we also want an investigation into the procurement process,” said Mdletshe.

“No tender was published for the procurement of the Tara Klamp. It was purchased from a supplier with links to the government, rather than a competitor offering a lower price. We have therefore requested that the Public Protector investigate the procurement of the device.”

Mdletshe said their ultimate goal is to force the KwaZulu-Natal government to stop using the Tara Klamp.

“With the use of the Tara Klamp, there are people who are experiencing prolonged periods of pain. We have people who had circumcisions in 2010, and to this day they are still experiencing pain when there is cold weather.”

The TAC said the negative side effects of the Tara Klamp include a complication rate of 37%, delayed wound healing of 21%, problems with penis appearance of 31%, and 21% participants were more likely to report bleeding. Twenty one percent reported injuries to the penis, 32% infection, 83% swelling and 16% urinary problems. “The Tara Klamp has specifically not been approved by the World Health Organisation because it failed in the only clinical trial conducted to test its safety,” it said in a statement.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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