Friday, October 26, 2012

ZIMBABWE: get them while they're babies

The Herald (Zimbabwe)
October 24, 2012

Zimbabwe: Neonatal Circumcision

CHILDREN will soon be circumcised at birth under a national programme to achieve maximum results of the medical procedure, senior health officials have said. Aids and TB Unit director in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare Dr Owen Mugurungi said Government was planning to start neonatal circumcision as soon as possible.

"We hope between 2013 and 2014 we would start neonatal circumcisions at a national scale," he said. "It is actually more sustainable than adult circumcisions."

Dr Mugurungi said some children were already covered under Government's catch up phase targeting children and adults between the ages of 13 and 29 years.

He said for every 200 000 babies circumcised, about 1 500 new infections are averted. [This figure is Just Made Up. There is no evidence neonatal circumcision has any effect on HIV, and for every 200,000 Zimbabwean babies circumcised, 6000 will die within a year.]

National male circumcision co-ordinator Mr Xaba Sinokuthemba said they submitted a device used to do neonatal circumcisions for approval to the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe.

"There is no device that has been approved to work here in Zimbabwe and we have actually taken a device that is currently used in Botswana," he said. "This is the device that we have sent to MCAZ for approval and hopefully, very soon neonatal circumcisions will begin."

Government intends to circumcise one million men between 2013 and 2015. The turnout has been very low in the previous years with only 85 000 circumcised since the inception of the programme. [So they're going after them before they can resist. So much for human rights.] Chances of a man acquiring HIV from an infected partner if circumcised are less than 60 percent. [We should certainly hope so! Clearly the reporter doesn't begin to understand statistics.]

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