Voluntary neo-natal circumcision planned

Lindani Dube Chronicle Reporter
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare says plans to introduce neo-natal circumcision on voluntary basis are at consultation and research stage.
In an interview recently, the director of Aids and Tuberculosis Unit in the ministry, Dr Owen Mugurungi said the population’s approval on the matter was important before its inception.

“Foremost, neonatal circumcision has proven to be more sustainable than the catch up phase as it is possible to circumcise about 200 000 infants a year compared to reaching out to the adult population,” said Dr Mugurungi.

He said the benefits of neonatal circumcision out weigh the risks as it is a simpler procedure.
“There is virtually little to no bleeding on the infants and no need for pain killers or anaesthetics. The healing process is quicker than the adult’s six week period,” said Dr Mugurungi.

Dr Mugurungi said circumcising neonates makes the condom contraception campaign easier later on as circumcision would have already been done.
“Like anything new we have embarked on accessibility and feasibility studies and also to research the best suited to perform the task, between a general nurse, midwife, doctor or pediatrician,” said Dr Mugurungi.

He said if the programme was widely accepted training of ideal candidates would begin.
“The exercise will be voluntary and not imposed, as the final decision should still be left to parents to make. That is in the context of their religious, ethical and cultural beliefs. We are still consulting to get perspective of the population and everyone,” said Dr Mugurungi.

He said the ministry will endevour to reach its target of having circumcised 1,2million males by the year 2015.
“We are hopeful that we will get close to the figure as more people are aware of the benefits of circumcision apart from HIV reduction. Benefits extend to hygiene, prevention of genital ulcers and the reduction of cervical cancer in women,” he said.

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  • http://www.circumstitions.com/ Hugh7

    “Voluntary neo-natal circumcision” is obviously nonsense. No baby has ever volunteered to have (the best) part of his genital cut off, and men are not buying it either. To do it before they can resist is a breach of their human rights.

    “No need for pain killers or anaesthetics”? How loudly do the babies have to scream before you get it that they DO feel pain?

    Two surveys, one before the circumcision campaign began, one after, have both shown that more CIRCUMCISED Zimbabwean men have HIV than non-circumcised, and the same is true in 9 out of 18 other countries for which USAID has figures. So how can circumcising men help? On the contrary, one study in Uganda started to show that circumcising men INcreases the risk to women, but it was cut short before that could be confirmed.

    The cervical cancer claim is also unproved. Circumcision is a “cure” looking for a disease, an intervention in search of an excuse. Zimbabwe has serious health shortages. This campaign is a dangerous waste of scarce resources.

  • http://www.circumstitions.com/ Hugh7

    Oh yes, and there is NO evidence that infant circumcision has ANY effect on HIV transmission in adults. The claims are all based on paid adult volunteers for circumcision, and it may well be that some aspect of the operation itself changed their risk, such as changes in their behaviour.

  • Dreamer

    Circumcision without anesthesia is pure torture, even if the victim (eh, patient) is a baby.
    Lander J, Brady-Freyer B, Metcalfe JB, et al. Comparison of ring block, dorsal penile nerve block, and topical anesthesia for neonatal circumcision. JAMA 1997; 278:2158-62.