18 Jun 2013 10:00
WINDHOEK, 18 JUN (NAMPA) - City Councillor Boas Ekandjo encouraged Namibian men to go for voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in order to reduce their chances of being infected with HIV by 60 per cent.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by the City of Windhoek (CoW)'s Head of Corporate Communications, Joshua Amukugo during the launch of the City's one-day VMMC campaign under the theme 'A Healthy Workforce with Zero New Infections' here on Tuesday.
?We all, men and women, ought to know what this is all about - the procedures and the long-term benefits it has for our people and country in general,? said Ekandjo.
He said male circumcision has contributed meaningfully to the reduction of the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, and this has been proven nationally and internationally.
The National Strategic Framework for HIV is aiming to have about 450 000 men circumcised by 2016.
Ekandjo reiterated the CoW's commitment towards the global aim of ?Getting to Zero (Zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths)?, and thus urged all men who are not circumcised to take part in this campaign.
Speaking at the same occasion, the coordinator of male circumcision and HIV infection in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Epafras Anyolo said it is advisable that male circumcision is performed at the age of 10 as there are many procedures to be followed through the process, such as that the penis should not have contact with water for five days, amongst other things.
Anyolo said the benefit of male circumcision includes the prevention of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cancers amongst women.
HPV is a virus from the Papillomavirus family that is capable of infecting humans.
He furthermore advised women to accompany their male partners for HIV counselling and testing before they are circumcised.
?This exercise is for health reasons, not for cultural or religious reasons,? Anyolo said.
The CoW?s human resources? department through its Division of Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness provides VMMC awareness sessions, voluntary counselling and testing, and also starts the registration process for those who wish to be circumcised.
The team will report back to the Ministry of Health and Social Services later.