Monday 12 April 2021
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Women key to male circumcision

The Marketing head of the state-sponsored Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Johannes Haufiku says women have been instrumental in the increased number of men going for circumcision.
In 2016, Namibia launched its countrywide VMMC, which aims at reaching out to uncircumcised men and boys to go through the medical process.
As from January 2017 to March 2018, the project has been able to produce a 37 000 count of men circumcised, Haufiku said women have influenced the rate hike directly.
“Recently, we have seen an increase number of women who are supporting their partners to get circumcised.
We have seen women as mothers who are supporting their sons by bringing them to be circumcised. When you talk to a mother, they tell you that they will bring their boys. And since boys under the age 18 need consent, mothers have been very forthming,” said Haufiku.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the tissue covering the head of the penis.
Men who are circumcised have a decreased risk of urinary tract infections, a reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases, protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners, and the selling-point that it can reduce HIV infection by 60%.
Oshana region followed by Erongo and Omusati top the list of surgeries done so far.
Regions like !Karas, Ohangwena and Zambezi already account for 15000 of the total. Despite a slow start, the campaign gained traction in recent months.
Although the project is operational countrywide, the priority areas are regions with a high HIV prevalence rate. The targeted regions are Zambezi, the four northern regions, Kavango, Erongo as well !Kharas.
“We started where the HIV prevalence is higher and then we move down. We are still doing the male circumcision countrywide but we are putting more effort in areas with high HIV prevalence. Men are now more willing to get circumcised compared to the past.
We started to see waiting lists of people who are booking to get circumcised and this is a positive sign. The current stats are not where we want to be but we are moving into the right direction. If we can get another 30 000 and more for this term, we will be headed to 300 000 people circumcised in no time,” he said.

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