Saturday, November 15, 2014

GHANA: Scores of baby penises amputated

October 14, 2014

Penile amputation cases rise; doctors concerned

The number of baby boys who are suffering as a result of their penises being cut off during circumcision is rising.

Three months ago, when JOY News first broke the story in the hotline documentary titled “Borrowed Manhood”, about 76 children who reported at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) were affected.

Despite the awareness creation, the number of cases of penile amputation during circumcision of baby boys has continued to rise.

Dr. Kwaku Addai Arhin of KATH’s Urology Department has deplored the rise in circumcision-related injuries.

According to him, the number has risen to 86 in less than three months and the urologist warns of more cases if immediate steps are not taken to deal with the situation.

“The problem has not been resolved. The issues we raised have not been tackled. The first documentary we made was meant to raise public awareness, but nothing else has been done.”

To buttress his point, the Urologist mentioned a recent case where a one-week-old boy endured an almost complete mutilation of his glans during an operation by a “qualified” nurse.

He indicated the need for workshops to educate all circumcision practitioners (wanzams), nurses and even doctors on the subject.

“Until that is done, we cannot be safe. We cannot say we have achieved anything.”

Dr. Arhin called for a National policy on circumcision, insisting that “We need first and foremost to identify all those who conduct circumcisions and give them hands-on training so they can do safe [circumscision].”

In Ghana, male infants are circumcised when they are a few days old. The practice can be traced to Abrahamic tradition and uncircumcised boys usually, suffer stigmatisation.

This delicate operation is conducted either in a hospital or by traditional surgeons locally referred to as “wanzams”.

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