August 29, 2013

Karamoja Men Shun Circumcision

Only a handful of men in Kaabong district have embraced the safe male medical circumcision, since it was launched there a month ago.

In June, government launched safe male medical circumcision in Kaboong district as one of the ways of reducing HIV infection. However, only 10 men have so far undergone the Safe male medical circumcision at Kaboong hospital.

Only a handful of men in Kaabong district have embraced the safe male medical circumcision, since it was launched there a month ago.
Only a handful of men in Kaabong district have embraced the safe male medical circumcision, since it was launched there a month ago.

Dr. Charity Oneko, a medic at Kaabong Hospital the district had targeted 2880 males by end of this financial year but the men have shunned the exercise.

She says they may not hit their target despite decentralizing the exercise to sub counties. Oneko notes that health workers have to wait longer for the men to turn up for circumcision across the district. She attributes the low turn up to the stiff culture of the Karimojong.

Joseph Midi Komol, the Kaabong LC5 Chairperson blames the health practitioners for not carrying out sufficient sensitization on Safe Medical Male Circumcision. He says most of the residents are not aware of the significance of circumcision. Komol says since the practice is new in Karamoja, most men look at it as bad. He encourages men in the district to embrace Safe Male Medical circumcision saying it is for their own benefit.

Dr. Peter Mudiope, the Head of HIV prevention Uganda Aids Commission acknowledges safe Male Medical Circumcision is a delicate initiative. He asks the leaders to encourage the men in the district accept safe male circumcision by outlining its importance.

In 2007, the World Health Organization, UN AIDS and the Government of Uganda recommended the use of male circumcision as an effective intervention for HIV prevention. This came after various studies showed that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection in men by approximately 60%.

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