NGO promotes medical circumcision

2015-11-04 06:00

TEAM leader for male circumcision mobilisers in the Harry Gwala District, Thandeka Zondo, has a mammoth task of convincing men in the Harry Gwala District to undergo medical circumcision, a topic that is still taboo in most areas under the district as it is dominated by rural areas.

Zondo, from Bulwer, is the leader of five mobilisers working for CareWorks, a non-governmental organisation that makes a tangible impact on the degenerative effects that HIV/Aids and TB have on individuals, organisations and communities.

Speaking to the Fever, Zondo said advocating for male circumcision is not an easy undertaking especially for a woman, but she does it with courage and precision. “Speaking about an intimate issue like circumcision can be very tricky, but because I understand the dynamics of the topics and its importance, I make sure I deliver the message of circumcision to men with great caution,” she said.

She said medical male circumcision, which is the removal of foreskin, is beneficial for them.

“Undergoing that process can reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/Aids by up to 60%. It also reduces the risk of getting cancer of the penis. Even though it does not completely remove the risk, it is healthier and safer to undergo the procedure,” she said.

She delivers talks with mobilisers in schools, taxi ranks and community gatherings.

“We go around explaining the importance of circumcision. Once we get a man to understand the concept of medical male circumcision and he agrees to undergo the procedure, we arrange the process by contacting the nearest clinic where the procedure can be done.

“We give him the date when circumcision is to be done and we send an SMS to remind him of the date. Thereafter we monitor the healing process of the client, and we do all this without a fee or charge.”

She said the men they have spoken to have been receptive to the information they have been given.

“Our mobilisers are spread around the district and there has not been any serious report of resistance from men - it is just those few conservative and older men in rural areas, like Creighton, who have brushed off the idea, but overall most are keen after we explain the importance of the procedure,” she said.

She urges all males between the ages of 15 and 49, especially those who are sexually active, to undergo medical male circumcision.

“For boys under 18 we give them consent forms to give to their parents or guardian to sign. We always warn people that doing medical male circumcision does mean you cannot contract an infection, and tell that to always use a condom when engaging in sexual intercourse,” she said.

Undergoing that process can reduce the risk of
contracting sexually
transmitted infections,
including HIV/Aids by
up to 60%.

All males between the ages of 15 and 49,
especially those who are sexually active, to undergo medical male circumcision

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