1 December 2015

Rwanda: Medics Urged to Boost Awareness About Health Benefits of Circumcision

More emphasis on embracing circumcision is needed nationally because it plays a vital part in the HIV virus prevention. Dr Leo Ngeruka, a surgeon at Rwanda Military Hospital, Kanombe, said during an interview with The New Times yesterday.

"A circumcised person has 60 per cent chances of preventing himself from contracting HIV. People however, should know that the medical procedure provides only partial protection," Dr Ngeruka said.

He added that the World Health Organization (WHO) encourages circumcision under a programme which the Government is currently implementing.

WHO recommendations emphasise that male circumcision should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.

"Yesterday we initiated a drive to circumcise over 3000 people in areas of Kageyo Rwinkwavu, Kabarondo among others," Dr Ngeruka said.

"People are now open-minded about circumcision. We now receive a good number of them at the hospital. They are aware of the advantages, they no longer have fear since we now use PrePex method, a non-surgical method that's easier to use," he added.

However, we still have challenges, for instance, the equipments needed to carry out circumcission are not enough. There is also need to train more people so that a wider part of the country is covered.

In a previous interview with The New Times, Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, head of HIV, STI and other blood borne Infections at RBC, said the national target was to reduce new infections by six per cent come 2018 and male circumcision was one of the strategies to help achieve it.

"The demand for circumcision actually is very high, especially among youth aged between 18 and 24. Accessibility has also increased overtime since many health providers have been trained and given equipment to carry out safe circumcision," Dr Nsanzimana added.

Reuben Bizimungu a resident of Kacyiru said he was pleased to have undergone circumcision as it was bound to keep him safe from various infectious diseases.

"When I was still young, I didn't value circumcision because I saw it as a painful procedure but after being circumcised, I now encourage my peers to go for it. It's safe and hygienic," Bizimungu said.

He advised other young men to go for circumcision because it will not only protect their health but also the well being of the future generation.

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