Oshana falling short of male circumcision targets

12 Jun 2016 11:40am
OSHAKATI, 12 JUN (NAMPA) – Less than 9 000 men have so far been circumcised in the Oshana Region under the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Programme.
This is according the deputy head of the programme in the region, Aina Iitula.
She spoke to Nampa during the circumcision campaign promotion at the Oshakati Independence Stadium on Thursday.
With a performance by local artist Martin ‘The Dogg’ Morocky, the event attracted a large crowd of young people from schools in and around Oshakati.
It was aimed at creating awareness of the importance of circumcision.
Male circumcision is said to be an effective biomedical intervention that has been proven to reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission by up to six per cent.
“In Oshana, we started the VMMC programme in 2009 with a target of 28 889 men to be circumcised in the region before the end of the programme in 2017, but so far less than 9 000 men have been circumcised,” Iitula said.
She attributed this to the absence of a team dedicated to the VMMC programme before 2014.
“As of 2014, there is a regional team dedicated to the programme and the team engaged a lot of people, from the regional governor and councillors to traditional and community leaders,” said.
Iitula said this is what led to the majority of the 9 000 men taking the decision to get circumcised.
She said The Dogg’s performances add value to the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ call for men to get circumcised and contribute towards the reduction of the HIV transmission risk.
The ministry has two permanent circumcision points in the Oshana Region - at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital and the Oluno Clinic, while mobile circumcision teams visit local schools.