Saturday, June 22, 2013

SOUTH AFRICA: Five more circumcision deaths, one castration

IoL News
June 21, 2013

Five circumcision deaths in E Cape

Port Elizabeth - Five boys died and one has been castrated in the Eastern Cape after illegal circumcisions, the provincial health department said on Friday.

“The Eastern Cape department of health is extremely concerned about the increasing number of young boys dying in the bush,” said spokesman Sizwe Kupelo.

“Over the past four days five boys have died in the bush. An autopsy conducted on three of them indicated they suffered from gangrene which resulted in renal failure.”

A 15-year-old boy also had to be castrated.

Kupelo said the circumcisions had occurred at illegal schools in the Libode, Port St Johns, and Lusikisiki areas.

“In one instance in Libode, a man wearing a balaclava is alleged to have circumcised at least 37 boys,” he said.

Those circumcised included boys as young as nine-years-old.

“The department describes the situation as not circumcision but acts of barbarism being perpetrated by greedy people who are interested in making money, and who have total disregard for human life.”


Earlier story

SUDAN: Girls cut to punish father - for speaking against cutting

Ahram (Egypt)
June 20, 2013

Egypt's refugees find Syrian crisis brings new challenges and some hope

by Hazel Haddon

On World Refugee Day, Egypt has been praised for welcoming thousands of Syrians seeking refuge, but some African refugees are feeling left behind

Moataz, a 41-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker from Darfur, has called Egypt home for the last year, but it has not always been a welcoming one.

He worked in north Darfur for several years, until he started to have problems with the Sudanese government, who believed he was cooperating with local rebel groups. “I had to resign and come to Khartoum. I knew I was being followed,” he says.

He was then forced to flee Khartoum after delivering a speech at a women’s rights conference, in which he argued that girls should not be circumcised.

“While I was speaking at the conference, they came and took my kids. They took my two girls and circumcised them.

"They brought a letter, and they had doctors' uniforms. They said they came from the ministry of health. They had put my photo on a document, saying that I had agreed to do that,” Moataz says. “When they brought them back they gave my wife a message: Tell your husband he shouldn’t talk about these things.”

His daughters were two and six when they were forcibly circumcised. After the incident, he fled with his family to Egypt and claimed asylum.


SOUTH AFRICA: R2.2M for botched circumcision

IoL News (South Africa)
June 20, 2013

R2.2m for boy's botched circumcision

by Sharika Regchand

Durban - The parents of a boy whose circumcision was botched at a Vryheid hospital were awarded R2.2 million [$US 195,900] to be paid within 14 days by the provincial Health Department, Deputy Judge President Achmat Jappie ordered in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday.

Judge Jappie also ordered that the department pay all the family’s legal costs.

The mother of the child, now nine, sued the department on behalf of her son following his circumcision in October 2009. [They asked for five times as much.]

He suffered severe burning, infections and a loss of his normal penile tissue after the procedure.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Paul McGarr said in a report before the court that he was “completely amazed by the inertia, lack of a sense of urgency and lack of sensitivity shown by the doctors” who initially managed the child.

McGarr went into detail as to how the child’s injury had occurred and commented that the standard of practice and aftercare at the hospital constituted gross negligence by staff who had failed to follow the most basic principles of surgery.

“The words lazy, incompetent and disinterested accurately describe the treating doctor’s actions,” he said.

“In essence, nine minutes of a rushed, incompetent circumcision has significantly and severely impacted on the child for the rest of his life.”

Attorney Sonette Boning said the boy’s parents were happy that the matter had been finalised after four years.

She said they were not on medical aid and had found it difficult to get him the best medical and psychological treatment.

He would also need to have further surgery.

The mother previously told The Mercury that it was difficult for her son and there had been a big change in his life.

“He went through a lot of anxiety, fear and psychological trauma. He also lost his self-confidence,” she said, recalling days when her son had panic attacks and times when she could do nothing to help him feel better.

Earlier story

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SOUTH AFRICA: Taxi drivers fear forced dircumcision

The New Age (South Africa)
June 18, 2013

Limpopo Taxis to cultural initiation schools in Limpopo

by Montsho Matlala

Panick struck the Jane Furse taxi rank in the Sekhukhune district in Limpopo on Tuesday following allegations that some taxi operators had been abducted and forcefully taken to local initiation schools.

Some taxi drivers went into hiding as cultural circumcision was not part of their families' culture.

One man said he was considering taking legal action after his brother was abducted and taken to an initiation school in the area at the weekend.

Callies Mokgoatjana, spokesperson for the Jane Furse Polokwane Taxi Association yesterday denied any form of kidnappings by members of his association.

NEW SOUTH WALES: "Non-specific" gender recognised

Supreme Court of New South Wales
June 17, 2013

State recognises "non-specific" gender

by Hugh Young

The Supreme Court of New South Wales has ruled that a person's gender may be recorded as "non-specific"

A person identifed as Norrie was born male in Scotland, but later undertook surgery, because they identified as "having a non specific gender identity".

Norrie applied to the NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to change their registered name and sex. The Registrar at first approved the change of sex to "not specified" but three weeks later said the approval had been issued in error and changed the sex to "not stated". Norrie applied for review and was turned down, appealed and was turned down again.

Now after considering the law in detail, the Supreme Court of New South Wales has ruled that registration of sex is not confined to "male" or female" but may include a non-specific category.

While Norrie was born male, this legal recognition will be of value to people born with Variations of Sex Development (commonly known as "intersexed" or "hermaphrodite") and want to be officially recognised as such.

SOUTH AFRICA: Traditional circumcisor shot


June 18, 2013

Man shot dead at E Cape initiation school

A man has been shot dead at an initiation school near Bityi early on Tuesday morning, say Eastern Cape police.

"An unknown man entered [the school] during the night and shot and killed a 22-year-old circumcision traditional surgeon," Lieutenant Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said on Tuesday.

He said a 21-year-old man, who was also responsible for the initiates, was wounded.

"The motive is unclear," Fatyela said.

No arrests have been made and police were investigating the murder and attempted murder.

The surgeon's death came a few weeks after the spotlight fell on traditional circumcision since the death of 27 boys at initiation schools in Mpumalanga.


Eastern Cape statistics
Of the three provinces in which initiation is most commonly practiced, the M&G was only able to get statistics from one, the Eastern Cape.

In that province, the death toll for the five years from 2008 to 2012 was 323. During that time, a further 126 boys suffered genital amputations.



SAUDI ARABIA: Doctor who botched 7 circumcisions gets 6 months

Gulf News
June 17, 2013

Egyptian doctor convicted of botched surgery

The ENT doctor jailed for six months, barred from practising in Gulf

by Ramadan Al Sherbini

Cairo: A Saudi court has given an Egyptian doctor six months in prison and barred him from working in the kingdom and other Gulf countries after finding him guilty of carrying out botched circumcision operations.

The Islamic Sharia Court in the western Saudi city of Al Madinah also ordered Abdullah Hamzah, a specialist in ear, nose and throat infections, of paying a fine of 100,000 Saudi riyals (Dh97,936). [$US26,600]

Families of seven new-born boys have accused Hamzah of causing damage to their children after carrying out circumcision on them in a private clinic.

The court said that he will not be allowed to leave the kingdom before relevant compensation lawsuits are handled, depending on damage caused to each case.

Earlier story

SOUTH AFRICA: Two boys rescued; boy circumcised 70

The Citizen
June 16, 2013

Circumcised boys rescued in Eastern Cape

Two Eastern Cape boys who underwent an illegal circumcision were hospitalised on Sunday, the provincial health department said.

"A team of police and health officials responded to [a call from] one of the villages, Mkhantatho, and rescued two boys," spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said.

"The boys were suffering from dehydration and hallucinations."

They were found in a forest near Sicambeni village around 1am, and taken to hospital as they required immediate medical care.

Kupelo said police were searching for the person who performed the illegal circumcisions.

Parents notified the department of 12 other boys, between the ages of 12 and 13, who had received illegal circumcisions in Sicambeni.

"This brings the number of illegal circumcisions reported [this week] to over 80," said Kupelo.

Earlier, he said the department had received reports of illegal circumcisions in Cibeni, Mkhantatho, Gebali, Lukuni, and KwaGorha villages. At least 70 boys were reported to be in illegal circumcision schools.

They were being circumcised by a boy who attended a school in the area and who was not a recognised district surgeon. The matter came to light when concerned traditional leaders contacted the department.

No deaths had been reported.

ITALY: Jews and Muslims co-operate on (male) circumcision

Italy: Jewish and Arab doctors to cooperate on circumcision

Rome meeting hears 35% secret operations by Muslims

(ANSAmed) - Rome - Muslim and Jewish doctors for the first time have reached agreement on key health issues including circumcision which has become an emergency among members of Italy's Islam community.

The cooperation emerged from an 'ad hoc' meeting organised between Foad Aodi, the president of Italy's foreign doctors' association (AMSI) and Dario Perugia, the president of the Jewish doctors' association.

Unlike Jewish newborns who are circumcised by doctors under the supervision of a synagogue, one third of Muslim children are circumcised in secret locations with the risk of complications and infections.

Aodi said this affected a large number of children, given there are 1.3 million Muslims in Italy.

AMSI has been fighting for change for some time because circumcision (not to be confused with illegal practices like female genital mutilation) occurs in clinics or locations that were part of the national health service.

[But many Muslims want as desperately to cut their girls, to a similar extent and for the same reasons.]

He stressed it was important to protect children's health. Health authorities also want to eliminate the circumcision 'black market' that is flourishing in Italy where doctors can be paid a thousand euro for a single operation, forcing many families to make great sacrifices or return to their countries of origin. [Or not do it.]

AMSI together with Italy's Arab community and the cultural association "Uniti per Unire" and Jewish doctors are proposing that the service be offered at a maximum price of 100 euros. That has already been introduced in regions including Emilia Romagna and Veneto but there is now a push for a national approach.

"Every day we receive telephone calls from three or four families who are desperate because they don't know where to go," Aodi said. (ANSAmed).

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

TEL AVIV: New excuses for circumcision death

Israel Hayom
June 9, 2013

Baby dies eight days after losing consciousness following brit

Eight days after being hospitalized, the baby boy who lost consciousness immediately after being circumcised has died. The cause of death is still unclear, but apparently is not connected to the circumcision itself.

Jewish tradition mandates that boys be circumcised at eight days old in a ritual known as "brit milah."

The Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon reported that the infant had been hospitalized "in very serious condition of near brain death."

The birth of the boy, born to an ultra-Orthodox family from Bat Yam, was entirely normal, in the 38th week of pregnancy. At eight days of age, he was duly circumcised. About 30 minutes after the circumcision, when his mother tried to nurse him, the family noticed that he had stopped breathing and he was rushed to hospital.

The hospital spoke with the mohel who performed the circumcision to determine whether the child had been given any sedatives or anesthetics that could have caused an allergic reaction, or whether any excessive bleeding had been spotted. Both possibilities were ruled out.

The speculation that the boy had suffered from an undetected congenital heart defect was also ruled out, as was the possibility that he had choked to death after being fed.

The prevalent assumption among the medical staff who treated the child was that he had suffered from an undiagnosed metabolic or endocrine disorder, though no one was sure what had caused the boy's death. His family reportedly refused to allow an autopsy.

[If "a sharp drop in blood pressure resulting from shock trauma" can kill a 13-year-old girl, why not an 8-day-old boy?]

"This is a very sad incident," said a friend of the family, identified only as Abraham. "We pray that this couple will have more children soon."

Earlier story

EGYPT: Girl dies during circumcision

Al Arabiya
June 10, 2013

Egyptian girl dies while being circumcised

A 13-year-old Egyptian girl has died while being circumcised at a private village in the Daqahliya governorate north east of Cairo, Egyptian media reported on Sunday.

“We left our daughter with the doctor and the nurse. 15 minutes later, the nurse took my daughter out of the operation room to a nearby room, along with three other girls whom the doctor was circumcising,” Mohammed Ibrahim, a farmer, told al-Masry al-Youm.

“I waited half an hour, hoping that my daughter would wake up, but, unfortunately, unlike the rest of the girls, she did not,” he said.

The doctor who circumcised Suhair al-Bata’a had previously circumcised the victim’s elder sister two years ago.

“I want nothing but to hold the doctor accountable and to have justice for my daughter,” the victim’s mother, Hasanat Naeem Fawzy, told the newspaper.

The police summoned the doctor and ordered an autopsy to find out the cause of the young girl’s death.

A health inspector report explained the cause of the death was due to “a sharp drop in blood pressure resulting from shock trauma,” the family’s lawyer, Abdel Salam, told al-Masry al-Youm.

Egypt's National Council for Women condemned the deadly incident of female circumcision as a criminal act that reflects "extreme savagery," calling on the government to investigate the issue and punish the culprits.

UNICEF Egypt has also condemned the incident, saying female circumcision has no justification, medical or religious.

Abdel Wahab Suleiman, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in Daqahliya, who said that the Health Directorate had not yet been notified of the incident, described Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as against the law.

In 1996, Egypt criminalized FGM; however, many families still bring their daughters to be illegally circumcised. In 2009, Egyptian authorities arrested a man for the first time since FGM’s ban was introduced. The man was arrested for his illegal circumcision of an eleven-year-old girl in the governorate of Minya, 600 kilometers south of Cairo.

SOUTH AFRICA: Circumcision botched, Health Departments sued

June 7, 2013

Dept sued over circumcision

The national and Mpumalanga health departments are being sued for R10.7-million [$US 1.07 million] after a botched circumcision in which a nine-year-old boy lost the tip of his penis.

A Sapa correspondent reported on Friday that the boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was mutilated at Barberton Hospital five years ago.

"The matter has been referred to the State attorney, as we were sued for alleged medical negligence for an amount of R10.7-million," Mpumalanga health spokesperson Ronnie Masilela said.
"At this stage, we have only received a letter of demand and summons will surely be served, but it has not yet been served."

Earlier story

TEL AVIV: Botched baby dies - circumcision exonerated again

But the circumcision didn't caused his death, oh no, that's impossible!

Jewish Press
June 7, 2013

Baby Dies in Israeli Hospital following Circumcision

The circumcision had actually been performed flawlessly, and apparently baby choked during feeding.

by Yori Yanover

A newborn baby who was hospitalized in serious condition at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, from complications following a rite of circumcision, passed away on Friday. Both Chief Rabbis and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel expressed their sorrow to the mourning family.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel stated that “immediately after the initial report of the incident, the director of the dept. of circumcisions in the Chief Rabbinate was in constant contact with the mohel (ritual circumciser) who conducted the rite, with the doctors who treated the baby at the Wolfson Medical Center, and with the senior physicians who are members of the joint circumcisions committee of the Ministry of Health and the Rabbinate.”

It was reported by the rabbinate that “since the initial diagnosis, the doctors who treated the baby were convinced that the complication in the baby’s condition was not the result of the circumcision but resulted from a previously existing medical condition. Later treatments administered to the baby confirmed this determination.”

“An investigation revealed that the mohel who performed the circumcision is a veteran, certified mohel,” said the Rabbinate’s statement. “The mohel followed procedure and performed a test on the baby after the rite. Only about half an hour after circumcision did signs of the medical complication in the child began to appear, not related to the circumcision itself. The mohel accompanied the family to the hospital.”

A week ago, at about 11 AM, MDA paramedics were called to a synagogue in Holon, after an infant who had undergone a rite of circumcision there had stopped breathing and lost consciousness, shortly after the ceremony. The rescue crew took him to Wolfson Medical Center. After resuscitation in the hospital shock room, the baby’s condition stabilized.

Hatzolah volunteer Yehuda Mizrachi, who was among the first on the scene, told Channel 2 News: “We received a call about an unconscious baby. When I arrived I found a completely blue baby, not breathing and without a pulse. We started resuscitation and massaging, until the ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital.”

After investigating the circumstances of the case, it was discovered that the circumcision had actually been performed flawlessly, and apparently baby choked during feeding.

[So did he choke during feeding, or did he have a pre-existing medical condition? This is like the story of Susanna and the Elders.]

“The bris had concluded safely and then everyone sat down to eat,” Abraham, a friend of the family, related. “He was nursing from his mother and then she put him in his cart. At some point we noticed that the child was not responding and had turned blue.”

“One of the guests called the MDA, and with their guidelines performed a cardiac massage,” added Abraham, described the event. “Then the rescue team continued the efforts, along with the MDA.”

Earlier story

Thursday, June 6, 2013

SAUDI ARABIA: Doctor botched seven out of 47 circumcisions

Saudi Gazette
June 6, 2013

Doctor admits performing 47 circumcisions

Calls to send victims abroad for treatment

MADINAH — A doctor in a private hospital has admitted to performing 47 circumcision procedures, of which at least seven were botched and the victims had to be admitted to hospital.

A medical source was quoted by Al-Madinah newspaper as saying that the doctor has admitted to performing 47 circumcision procedures. Most of them also suffer from various injuries and require hospitalization.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Taifi, director at Madinah Health Affairs, is closely following the case, the source said. A specialist committee formed to investigate the case was expected to meet in a couple of days, the newspaper said.

In a statement, the Health Directorate has described the actions of the doctor as unethical and unprofessional.


Earlier story

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

LIMPOPO: Doctors start cutting after 36 circumcision deaths

The New Age (South Africa)
June 3, 2013

Junior doctors respond to initiation deaths

by Montsho Matlala

Shocked by the deaths of at least 36 initiates at the cultural circumcision schools in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, the Junior Doctors Association of SA (JUDASA) has kicked off free male medical circumcision campaign for boys.

And the association members have already snipped 50 males, the youngest being just nine and the oldest 30 at the Mankweng hospital over the weekend.

JUDASA chairperson in Limpopo Dr Tshilidzi Sadiki told The New Age on Monday medial doctors were disturbed by deaths at cultural circumcision schools.

“This does not mean we are against cultural circumcision, we are concerned about the high mortality rate and risky medical conditions. We kicked off the campaign at the Mankweng hospital near Polokwane on Saturday.


SAUDI ARABIA: Travel ban on ENT doctor who botched four circumcisions

Saudi Gazette
June 3, 2013

Travel ban on Arab doctor after 'botched circumcisions'

MADINAH — Government bodies in Madinah have banned an Arab doctor from leaving the country after he was accused of botching four circumcision procedures, Al-Watan newspaper reported.

Madinah Health Affairs have admitted the babies to a local children’s hospital to prepare reports about their conditions.

The babies’ parents complained to the directorate about their children’s suffering after they were circumcised.

They said the babies were having difficulties urinating and their wounds have not healed despite the long period that had passed since the procedure.

The Director of Madinah Health Affairs Dr. Abdullah Al-Taifi said a medical committee was formed to investigate the incident and the babies were admitted to a hospital.

He said the doctor who performed the procedures works at a private hospital as a nose and ear specialist and was not licensed to perform such procedures.

He added that the doctor has caused harm to the babies and the directorate has notified security bodies to ban him from leaving the country until investigations are completed.

The medical committee will submit a report of its findings to the judicial authorities for further action.

In another incident, a child suffered chest and skin inflammation in a private hospital after a needle was mistakenly left in his chest.

Al-Tafi said he regretted these mistakes and that a committee was also formed to investigate the incident. [Any regret or committees for the four circumcised babies?]

The official apologized to the child’s parents and said that they have the right to sue those responsible. [Any apology or right to sue for the parents of the four circumcised babies?]

He said the reports regarding the five incidents would be ready by Monday.

TEL AVIV: Botched baby in critical condition

Times of Israel
May 30, 2013

Baby in critical condition after circumcision

by Stuart Winer

Barely breathing boy rushed to hospital following ritual

A baby boy slipped into unconsciousness during a circumcision ceremony and was taken to hospital in a critical condition on Thursday.

The eight-day-old infant underwent the brit milah ritual at the Pinhas Lavon synagogue in Holon when he stopped breathing and lost pulse.

The family made desperate calls to Magen David Adom for an ambulance and to the Hazalah first response organization.

Medic Yehuda Mizrahi was first to arrive on the scene.

“When I arrived, the baby was completely blue, not breathing and with no pulse,” he told Channel 2, and described how he began resuscitation techniques, including massages to try to restart the boy’s vital systems. Finally an ambulance arrived and the infant was rushed to Wolfson hospital.

Doctors began investigating what might have caused the incident, including excessive blood loss, a congenital disease, or infection. [Hmm, I wonder. How about that wound on his penis?]