Half a million successful circumcisions in KZN

26 initiates were saved from circumcision schools in the Pondoland area. Pic: JUSTINE GERARDY. 10/01/2001. © Daily Dispatch
26 initiates were saved from circumcision schools in the Pondoland area. Pic: JUSTINE GERARDY. 10/01/2001. © Daily Dispatch

Over half a million traditional circumcisions have been performed in KwaZulu-Natal the last five years without any deaths or amputations, health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said on Wednesday.

"Today I can report that since 2010 after His Majesty [Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini] made that clarion call at the Umkhosi Mkhosi Woselwa; we have circumcised more than 500,000 men and boys, without a single death and/or amputation," he said in a speech prepared for delivery.

Dhlomo was speaking at an event in Kokstad which welcomed 295 men and boys back to their communities after they had undergone initiation through circumcision.

Much of the province's success in promoting male circumcision as a strategy to curb the spread of HIV and Aids was attributed to Zwelithini, who in 2009 prompted government to circumcise as many men as possible.

"We will never tire to thank Ongangezwe Lakhe for his wisdom and leadership in calling for the revival of the Ukusoka tradition as means to fight the spread of HIV and Aids that has ravaged His people," said Dhlomo.

"The HIV that was once so deadly and seemed untouchable is now like a boxer who is on the ropes and facing defeat."

The department had worked with Indlondlo [head of the region's initiation schools] to provide several initiation services.

These included training on infection prevention and control at the traditional camps, the sterilisation of surgical packs, the allocation of male nurses to monitor control measures at the camps, and medical screening prior to the camps.

Medical male circumcision was one of the programmes the department would implement in the fight against the spread of the epidemic.

This would partially be achieved through the establishment of the Medical Male Circumcision Centre for Excellence, based at the Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

Dhlomo said medical male circumcision had the potential to curb the spread of HIV/Aids and was a catalyst for change in society.

"One day we may not even need to have campaigns such as 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children, because through it we have an opportunity to produce these great leaders of tomorrow; men with integrity."

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