11 August 2012

Kenya: Luo Elders Take Part in Voluntary Circumcision

SIX older men recently circumcised yesterday asked other males to embrace the cut which they described as a part of the inevitable changes in life. The elders are part of the 4,700 males who have voluntarily agreed to be circumcised between January and July. Pastor George Karambuka a mobiliser for the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision programme that started in 2008 said that out of the 4,700 cut males 200 were above 50 years.

The six elders, aged between 60 to 75, urged the youths and fellow elders to take the cut to reduce HIV/Aids infections. "Other men should go for the cut because it is not painful," said Harrison Wagga, 65. Barrack Tunya, a member of the Luo Council of Elders who was also circumcised, said there is no stigma for those embracing circumcision. He said: "People's perception on circumcision is changing because they see it as a health issue." He said as a community they will not accompany celebrations because it would amount to change of culture.

We are purely doing it on health grounds, Tunya said. The Nyanza Health Reproductive Society in partnership with the government has circumcised 436,000 men since 2008. Nyanza has the highest number at 350,000. Dr Athanasius Ochieng said the government intends to reduce new HIV infections by 950,000 by the year 2025 in Nyanza province.

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