Worries over 'dangerous' circumcisions

2012-08-23 22:33

Durban - The Treatment Action Campaign has asked the Public Protector to investigate the procurement and ongoing use of a device used to perform medical male circumcisions in KwaZulu-Natal.

"The TAC's complaint was sent to the Public Protector on 2 August and we have received acknowledgement of receipt," TAC provincial chairperson Patrick Mdletshe said on Thursday.

The TAC has laid a complaint about the use of the Tara Klamp (TK) which is used to perform medical circumcisions on adolescent and adult men in the province.

"The TK is a dangerous device. It has specifically not been approved by the World Health Organisation because it failed in the only clinical trial conducted to test its safety," Mdletshe said.

The TK is a plastic device which is clamped over the foreskin of a man's penis for seven to 10 days until the foreskin falls off. Sometimes, the device has to be surgically removed.

The TAC said the TK was used only in KwaZulu-Natal, as all the other provinces had rejected it.

Using TK cost R120 more per circumcision than the standard surgical method, Mdletshe said.

A man who did not want to be named, and who was circumcised using the TK, said that before the procedure, his penis had not been measured when it was in an erect state.

"At about 03:00 in the morning, when I get my erection, it becomes very painful as my penis size increases," he said.

The TAC said it had expressed its concerns to the provincial government in 2010, but had said it would conduct its own investigation.

"In January 2012, we received a draft document outlining the research carried out. However the methodology of this research was so poor it provided no evidential value regarding the safety of the TK," Mdletshe said.

Trials of the TK on adults in Orange Farm showed that it was unsafe.

The trials revealed that there was a 32% infection rate using the TK compared to the zero percent when using the forceps guided method (FGM), which was the standard surgical method.

The complication rate when using the TK was 37% compared to 3% using the FGM.

According to the TAC, no tender had been published for the procurement of the TK.

"The TK was purchased from a supplier with links to government, rather than a competitor offering a low price," Mdletshe said.

The KwaZulu-Natal premier's spokesperson Ndabezinhle Sibiya said the government had held several meetings with the TAC on the issue.

"The premier, Zweli Mkhize, was engaging with its stakeholders including bodies from the health professional such as the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Medicine and Control Council.

"As government, we want to ensure the programme of circumcision is carried without endangering anyone," Sibiya said.

The government had circumcised more than 100 000 men and the process was overseen by qualified health profession, he said.

"Government will respond to the specifics of the TAC complaint in due time. We are committed to deal with the concerns raised by the TAC," Sibiya said.

A team led by health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo had been assembled to address the TAC’s concerns, he said.

  • sakhile.m.masango - 2012-08-23 23:41

    This thing is painful as hell, more especialy when the killed foreskin dettachs. Thanx god it took me exactly 5 weeks to completely heal, im now a 'hot knife on a magarine' lol

  • june.park.908 - 2012-08-24 01:16

    "We know the truth. We know that you benefit from not only the payment for circumcisions, but also by selling the foreskins to cosmetic and research companies. We know you rarely use pain medication and that you routinely consider sugar pacifiers and lollipops to be "enough" pain medicine for an infant. We know there are no health benefits to circumcision, but there are downfalls. A child may die from shock or from bleeding out. A child may have psychological issues such as PTSD or other psychological and social problems. We know circumcision affects breastfeeding and often ceases the nursling/mother relationship. A child may also have physical injuries beyond the amputation of the foreskin and it's immunological protections. He will not be as protected as his intact peers from disease and infection. He will not be able to perform properly during intimate acts with his partner due to the keratinization of his glans among other issues. We know circumcision is illegal under child abuse laws in each state which say you cannot leave a mark on a child. Circumcision is illegal under the 14th Amendment which guarantees equal rights to all regardless of religion or age."

      diogenes.amaro.90 - 2012-08-24 08:57

      June, my dear, you'll be pleased to hear that my woefully ignorant (but exceptionally well-"Google'd") sister-in-law peddles the very same jawdroppingly ignorant tales about male circumcision being mutilation and all sorts of equally amazing nonsense. I am a male, circumcised as a defenceless infant. My goodness, when I recall my happy days in the Weermag with many "hooded lads" in the showers, am I ever pleased I am "cut"! Let's get down to basics - the foreskin DOES serve a purpose when we career around the bush in a loincloth! When we fast-forward and get into undepants and nice snug trousers ... and hide in the tropics, well, hygiene becomes a bit of a challenge, ne Skattie? (Refer Weermag and hygiene - the aromas were always eeeeuuuuwww.... and that was always no less than a good metre away!). I notice you quote the happymommy blog. Way to go, sister, a reputable source if ever there was. Tell me, how do you feel about me perhaps (as a man, nogal) pretending to tell you what is good or bad for you in terms of sexual function in women? Stupidity is forgivable, and sadly seldom curable. But, by Zeus, ignorance is unforgivable! Apropos the happymommy nonsense about "He will not be able to perform properly during intimate acts." - I have a carefully considered comment - "LOOOOOL!". You should ask my wife about that ... and to boot, she's a medic and knows a tiny bit about this particular area. Oh, and her comment on cut/uncut? "I know which one I prefer. And it's NOT uncut!"

      diogenes.amaro.90 - 2012-08-24 08:59

      Addendum: I must make it clear thar I refer to circumcision done by a sane medical professional, with due attention to procedure, hygiene, pain-calming. Not something done in a bush school, or by a bearded old man with crude instruments.

      diogenes.amaro.90 - 2012-08-24 09:27

      Addendum 2: can't help myself! Coffee break and all that. Anyway, quick last comment - Nil wrong with "uncut" IF said uncut lad is fastidious with the personal hygiene. And id said uncut lad is also equally fastidious in his sexual life. The great issue I have is not with someone preferring one or the other option, but with the ignorant twaddle which is peddled in the name of "being a caring Mommy", and especially with the assertion that male circumcision (done by a medic, nogal) amounts to mutilation. Newsflash, people, male circumcision is NOT the analogue of female circumcision. Ok, I'm done ... interested to see the thumbsup/thumbsdown ratios ;-) ...

  • june.park.908 - 2012-08-24 01:17 "Looking closely at the interaction of HIV and Langerhans cells, they found that the cells "do not become infected by HIV-1, because the cells have the protein Langerin on their cell surface," Geijtenbeek said. "Langerin captures HIV-1 very efficiently, and this Langerin-bound HIV-1 is taken up (a bit like eating) by the Langerhans cells and destroyed." In essence, Geijtenbeek said, "Langerhans cells act more like a virus vacuum cleaner.""

  • june.park.908 - 2012-08-24 01:17 "Langerhans Cells These specialized epithelial cells are a component of the immune system in the penis. There is no known method of restoring Langerhans cells to the penis. [Source: G. N. Weiss et al., "The Distribution and Density of Langerhans Cells in the Human Prepuce: Site of a Diminished Immune Response?" Israel Journal of Medical Sciences 29 (1993): 42-43.] "

      diogenes.amaro.90 - 2012-08-24 09:17

      So sorry to pop up again! June, referencing peer-reviwed journals is a good start, I guess. But selective referencing is also a bit naughty. To be thorough, you'd need to review pretty much all the contemporary (and quite a bit of the historical) research. Scientific Method and all that is not just down to a quick Google (or Bing or Baidu). To be clear, in terms of pure personal opinion, I am neither for nor against male circumcision. I speak only for the very obvious (to me) hygiene and ease of maintenance benefits. And definitely also on the utter lack of adverse effect on my sexual function. Peace.

  • june.park.908 - 2012-08-24 01:18

  • james.loewen.75 - 2012-08-24 02:28

    Many men will loose far more than their foreskins with this dangerous contraption. The politics of circumcision need to be understood. Wherever genital cutting is forced upon infants and children some will die, some will loose part or all of their penises and many will be seriously damaged for life. These casualties are of no concern to the promoters of circumcision, nor is your sexual function or pleasure. Genital cutting to "prevent HIV" is medical fraud. Understand the politics of the circumcision campaign and learn the facts. Circumcision DOES NOT protect you against HIV. Condoms prevent HIV.

  • juannepierre - 2012-08-24 04:47

    I have a suggestion. Leave it alone! Stop mutilating. Why do it? Health? A filthy guy is a filthy guy, skin or no skin, I mean Jesus do you really need to cut skin off because YOU don't wash properly, then what are you doing in the shower? Playing with yourself? AND, you know what shows the biggest drop in HIV... A rubber. hey, it'll also stop all those children being born too.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-08-24 07:27

    Barbaric methods practised by barbaric practitioners!

  • fred.potgieter.92 - 2012-08-24 07:43

    I know the soap and water combination is an invention by the civilized world, and that everything Western is regarded as "evil" or against tradition, but so are sunglasses, cars, cellphones, etc. Just get with the times.

  • FredERhodes - 2012-08-26 13:28

    Learning how to be a man includes good hygiene and safe uses of our prepuce. If you believe you have to cut it off means you're doing it wrong.

  • FredERhodes - 2012-08-26 14:23

    The male and female prepuce evolved to cause sexual arousal when physically stimulated. The problem that leads to most circumcisions is lack of good fathering education, when fathers abandone their infants to be raised by mothers, who make mistakes that cause circumcision. Then to hide her mistake, she tells him god hates homos, and if the boy gets angry the mother has to make up more lies to protect herself and she tells him god made me do it, causing a cycle of religious abuse until the superstitions can be revealed. We now know that HIV came from men who were taught that homosex was evil and there were no women around so they had heterosex with chimpansees, simian imunodeficiency evolved into HIV which is spread as a blood contamination and UTI. Since men cut as infants often develop erectile dysfunction protecting them from accuiring HIV, The MGM to prevent HIV movement evolved. Lies upon lies.

  • FredERhodes - 2012-08-26 14:44

    By cutting too much or not enough nerves off the infant prepuce, has different outcomes as an adult, and is being used as a form of eugenics for the undesirable. Some cut men function well being able to keep an erection long enough to cause vaginal erosion, pain and increased risk of infections to their female partenrs, while others have to live with dysfunction. In Africa's future, like they do to us in the US, they will be mislead into allowing their son's frenulum nerves to be excised along with his prepuce increasing the amounts of sexually dysfunctional males who will not be able to acquire HIV as easily. They will learn to compensate by having different kinds of sex, like with animals and children and multiple whores.

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