February 4, 2014
Ministry introduces SMC device for infantsThe Ministry of Health has introduced two new devices for infants’ Safe Male Circumcision (SMC).
The SMC national coordinator, Mr Conrad Ntsuape said the two devices were the best that Botswana opted for. He noted that the entire procedure was bloodless, requiring no anesthesia, suturing or a sterile setting.
Mr Ntsuape said the median time for complete healing was seven days after device removal. The devices Mogan Clamp and AccuCirc would be administered on children from zero to two months, eight hours after birth. Circumcision would be done on physically fit babies with no signs on abnormality weighing more than 2.5 kg and a penis of at least one centimetre.
He said the two devices were safe and effective for nonsurgical male circumcision without anesthesia or sterile settings. The distinction between the two devices is that the Accucirc is disposable while the Mogan Clamp is useful in mass circumcision programmes particularly in resource-limited setting. The disposable component of it is the razor blades.
[The Mogen has caused several serious botches, resulting in the Mogen company losing lawsuits and going bankrupt and out of business. The Accu-circ has had no impartial field trials. It chops the foreskin off out of sight, with no knowledge of how the cut will turn out - or whether it will be complete. The word "Safe" is deeply ironical here.]
He said the decision to adopt the two devices followed a lengthy consultation process that focused on acceptability of infant male circumcision as part of HIV prevention and male reproductive health efforts that was conducted by the governments of Botswana and United States through Harvard Institute in 2008. The survey was also done on the acceptability of infant male circumcision among mothers of newborn male infants in Botswana.
Mr Ntsuape said the results of the survey indicated that 96 per cent of mothers in Botswana accepted early infant circumcision while the remaining four per cent were undecided or not interested. He also said infant circumcision was long overdue because Botswana was among 14 periotic [sic] countries in Africa that should scale up safe male circumcision for both children and adults.
The uptake of SMC follows a study by the World Health Organisation that had shown that such countries have high HIV prevalence and low SMC uptake. [There is every reason to suppose that in Botswana, as in Lesotho and Swaziland, circumcised men are as likely as intact men - or more likely - to have HIV.] Twenty five infants have so far been circumcised in the past two weeks at Princess Marina, Nyangabwe and Bamalete Lutheran hospitals.
He said training was conducted on midwife nurses and doctors. ... ENDS