Friday December 23 2011

Adjumani men ‘dodge’ the knife

By Martin Okudi

A five-day free safe medical male circumcision that ended yesterday in Adjumani District, has registered low turn up, health officials said.

Of the 400 males targeted, only 78 turned up for the exercise organised by Baylor Uganda and the Ministry of Health.

A clinical officer, Mr Ayiashi Koma, said the service targeted males aged between 15 to 55 along with free HIV counselling and testing.

“We are not impressed with the turn up because our preliminary target is high. We have only successfully operated 78 out of the estimated 400 males in the first phase,” said Mr Koma, also a trained medical male circumcision surgeon and the focal point person for safe medical circumcision.

‘Short counselling session’
Mr Koma said the exercise failed to pick up at its early stage due to shortage of funds and few trained personnel.

Mr Pastore Vulolu, who turned up for circumcision, said: “It took me time to finally accept the operation because my friends told me the wound will take four months to heal.” Meanwhile, Mr Robert Wani, who turned up for the exercise but decided not to go through with the operation, said: “I was not satisfied with the short counselling session about the importance of circumcision.”

Male circumcision is encouraged by the Ministry of Health and is recommended by the World Health Organisation in an effort to restrain the rate of HIV/Aids spread.

It is also vital in reducing the risk of cancer of the penis, sexually transmitted diseases and improves hygiene.

The principal nursing officer of Adjumani Hospital, Ms Alice Vuciri, said 2,749 people are living with HIV/Aids in the district.