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Health ministry heightens circumcision campaign

Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) programme coordinator, Mr Conrad Ntsuape, says the country has witnessed a 67.5 per cent achievement of the SMC from April 2014 to March 2015.

Giving an update at the Jhpiego SMC meeting in Gaborone on Monday (June 29), Mr Ntsuape said as from April 2014 to March 2015, over 33 000 people were circumcised against a target of 50 000 which translates to 67.5 per cent.

Ever since the launch of SMC in 2008 where the country set out to circumcise 80 per cent of the male population, he said 39.9 per cent has been reached so far.

He noted that the country aims to avert new HIV infections by 2016 of which SMC was one of the interventions that were aimed to drive the goal and further save the country costs.

The programme coordinator said the SMC campaign targets 70 per cent of school going children aged between 10-19 so as to protect them at a young age.

He further highlighted that they have come up with innovations to improve SMC uptake in Early Infant Male Circumcision with the use of an accucirc device which inflicts less pain and bleeding.

Mr Ntsuape said his office was embarking on a multi media campaign from July-December 2015 targeting men aged 15-29.

He stated that Jhpiego has contributed 29 637 SMC’s which translates to 20 per cent national output, adding that he hoped they would expand and support more districts.

He said they were currently engaging community leaders to attract communities and also lobby for support from development partners. Jhpiego programme manager, Dr Amon Marwiro said they have supported over 1.5 million circumcisions around the globe.

He said Jhpiego started working in Botswana in 2006 with some preliminary work, and that in 2009 they started engaging in SMC with funding from the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

Dr Marwiro said they had trained and mentored local health service providers in SMC and Early Infant Male Circumcision and that they ensure quality of services after training.

He highlighted that they did a prepex pilot study in collaboration with ACHAP and the Ministry of Health which was completed in 2013 which proved safe and acceptable.

He noted that demand varies in the country and that there was need for meticulous planning and organisation.

Dr Marwiro said they were also engaging and consulting with dikgosi and VDCs so as to educate them on how to attract more men to come forth. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Portia Keetile

Location : Gaborone

Event : Meeting

Date : Jul 01 Wed,2015

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