OVER 1 050 men from Chief Sengwe in Chiredzi underwent their traditional winter camp circumcision with the help of doctors and nurses from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
FELUNA NLEYA/VENERANDA LANGA
The group graduated on Monday after a successful circumcision exercise which had the medical aspect incorporated.
Population Services International (PSI) Zimbabwe said the Ministry of Health was working closely with the traditional leaders from the Shangani community.
“The current winter camp, under the leadership of Chief Sengwe, has resulted in the circumcision of a total of 2 400 Tshangani and vaRemba men drawn from Chiredzi and Mwenezi districts,” PSI said in a statement.
“In Masvingo province, the ministry works closely with Chief Sengwe and Chief Tshovani of the Tshangani community and all their local leaders to ensure that while the communities conduct the rites of passage, they also are able to utilise medical health services in their own traditional settings but meeting the expected standards of service delivery in health facilities.”
PSI said the Ministry of Health upon request from chiefs provided doctors and supporting teams that were acceptable to the community to provide surgical and related services.
The National Male Circumcision Policy recognises that one of the critical pillars of the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision programme is the need to provide the services in a manner that fosters respect and collaboration with traditionally circumcising communities and their practices.
Meanwhile, Harare Metropolitan Senator James Makore (MDC-T) on Tuesday said infant circumcision was good as statistics showed schoolchildren were already sexually active and it could protect them from diseases.
Makore was contributing to debate currently going on in Senate on a motion introduced by Matabeleland South Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa (MDC-T) which called for a ban in infant circumcision.
He said since male circumcision was said to offer 60% protection against contracting HIV and Aids, it was therefore good to circumcise infants because some of them entered into sexual relations earlier than their parents thought.
“Some of the experiences that I have come across are that a spot-check was done in schools and it was discovered that at a certain school — which I am not going to mention by name — 16% of the children were HIV positive and this means that at schools we are faced with this pandemic,” Makore said.
Another Matabeleland South Senator Watchy (MDC-T) said people in his constituency were not impressed that some senators were advocating for a ban in infant male circumcision saying it was part of their culture.
“Circumcision is not a new thing, but it is a cultural practice. When I was growing up and while herding cattle in the bush, we used to remove material from the tail of a cow which was then used to tie and cut a vein on the foreskin of a male. This was said to help avoid pain upon penetration during intercourse. The process improves sexual pleasure on the part of the man,” Sibanda said.
Matabeleland North Senator Thokozile Mathuthu (Zanu PF) said infant circumcision was imperative to guard children against diseases and to keep their private parts and bodies healthy.