April 15, 2014
500 infants circumcised in government programmeTHE Health and Child Care ministry has circumcised at least 500 infants in a pilot programme which started last year designed for young children before they become sexually active.
by Feluan Nleya
The ministry was working together with the Population Services International (PSI) on the programme.
PSI director for voluntary medical male circumcision Ngonidzashe Madidi said for the purposes of sustainability, they were studying the early infant male circumcision (EIMC) to ensure protective effect of male circumcision is sustained.
Madidi said they wanted EIMC to run parallel with the adult Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) programme.
"Currently, EIMC is in a study phase and we are happy to say we managed to circumcise at least 560 babies successfully," Madidi said.
"The first training to do implementation was done in December 2012 and that saw at least 50 babies being successfully circumcised by doctors."
Madidi said there was also a programme to train midwives to be able to circumcise infants as they were the first to make contact with babies.
The programme has so far been introduced at Edith Operman and Mabvuku clinics in Harare.
"The programme by the midwives saw them successfully circumcising 331 infants using the AccuCirc device," Madidi said.
Madidi said they planned to scale up the programme after the pilot phrase and would be guided by the ministry in implementing it.
He said EIMC protected the infant from future infections such as HIV and bladder infections by 98% and 82% respectively.
[There is no evidence that infant circumcision has any effect on HIV transmission. These figures have been pulled out of the air.]
The World Health Organisation recommends neo-natal circumcision should be a component of prevention campaigns since it is less complicated than circumcision performed in young boys, adolescents or adults. [But it isn't. Any tiny mistake on a baby is magnified on the man he becomes. Genitally cutting a baby is ethically a very different matter from doing it to an adult volunteer.]