July 19, 2012
Newly-born babies to be circumcisedBy Phyllis Mbanje
ZIMBABWE is planning to expand its circumcision campaign to include newly-born babies as part of the country’s fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS, a senior health ministry official has confirmed.
The ministry’s AIDS and TB unit co-ordinator, Getrude Ncube, said a pilot project targeting babies between one and 28 days old would be launched before year end with the full programme likely to be rolled out in 2014.
"The project will start in Harare and Bulawayo," Ncube said adding that, gradually, all maternity sites across the country would be circumcising newly born babies by 2014.
[No mention of parental consent.]
"Although circumcising neonates will not have an immediate an impact, results will show in 20 years’ time. Our sole aim is to try and reduce new HIV infections."
Circumcised men are said to be 60 per cent less likely to get infected with HIV but the latest Zimbabwe Demographic Survey indicated that the prevalence rate among circumcised men was higher than that of those who were uncircumcised.
[And so did the 2005 one, before the circumcision campagin began.]
“Women are now looking for men who are circumcised and they do not want to use condoms. We do not want to create false hope.”