Auxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO Metropolitan Province has the highest number of circumcised men in the country, taking over from Matabeleland South province, latest official statistics show. Circumcision is believed to be capable of reducing the risk of contracting HIV by up to 60 percent. The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) 2014 report reveals that Bulawayo men lead the pack with 22 percent males between 15 and 54 years having undergone circumcision.
Matabeleland South is a close second with 20,8 percent.
The Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2014 final report says the study was conducted on 884 males in the country.
Bulawayo had a high of 139 males circumcised followed by Matabeleland South with 123 males and Harare with 102 males.
“Men were most likely to be circumcised between the ages 15 and 19 years (34,2 percent), 18,3 percent were circumcised between the ages 10 and 34 while 16,4 percent were circumcised when they were 25 years or older,” reads the report.
The survey states that most circumcisions were performed in a health facility (65, 1 percent) while 19,1 percent were performed at ritual sites and a 9,9 percent at home.
“Bulawayo had the highest number of male circumcision performed at a health facility (71,4 percent) and Masvingo had the lowest of 46,6 percent,” reads the report.
Most men are circumcised in urban areas than in rural areas.
The government in 2009 adopted circumcision as one of the strategies to prevent HIV infection through sex.
About 400,235 males have been circumcised since 2009 with the Ministry of Health and Child Care managing to introduce the non-surgical method of circumcision at some sites and launch preliminary studies on infant male circumcision.
While clinical male circumcision has been hailed as part of the measures to fight HIV and Aids, recent reports have suggested that some men who have undergone the procedure have embarked on high sexual risks further exposing themselves to the virus.
Early this year, the health ministry launched a $100 million male circumcision programme that is expected to see at least 80 percent of the male population being voluntarily circumcised by 2018. So far only 10 percent have been circumcised.