HomeLocal NewsHunger stops circumcision in Masvingo

Hunger stops circumcision in Masvingo

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Acute food shortages spawned by a ravaging drought in the last farming season have seen the Tshangani communities in Masvingo Province suspending their annual mass circumcision rites this year, the National Aids Council (NAC) has said.

By Tatenda Chitagu

The ceremony is usually performed in winter.

NAC Masvingo provincial Aids co-ordinator Ivos Makoni said the rites had to be suspended to avoid unnecessary deaths in the camps, which involve about three weeks of initiation into “manhood” in the bush.

“This year, the annual circumcision ceremony has been called off, partly because of food shortages, and that the age group of men who can be circumcised is just few and we have to wait until there is a bigger number,” Makoni said.

The Tshangani communities have adopted clinical circumcision in a move that saw them partnering NAC and Population Services International who provided doctors to make the procedure safe and avoid deaths.

More than 1 000 teenage boys and young men from Chikombedzi went under the knife last year.

Masvingo also recorded the highest number of men who opted for voluntary medical male circumcision, reaching the 19 000 mark last year.

Medical circumcision has scientifically been proven to reduce chances of contracting HIV during sex by 60% among heterosexuals.

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