Sunday, July 28, 2013


Uchenna Anozie,

Male circumcision (from Latin circumcidere, meaning "to cut around") is the surgical removal of the foreskin (prepuce) from the human penis. In a typical procedure, the foreskin is opened and then separated from the glans after inspection.

This procedure is obtainable in many races of the world and it was on biblical record that circumcision is a sign of covenant between the Israelites and Yahweh. Apart from the Jews other races practice this, especially African races.In the western world circumcision is done at childhood and done medically with anaesthesia in some cases, this medical procedure is safe and sound without any negative impact, and in fact recent discoveries show that circumcised males stand a reduced risk of contracting HIV than the uncircumcised.

Other sources confirmed that women prefer men with circumcised penis than the uncircumcised penis, reason being that the uncircumcised penis has an ugly aesthetic view and often very pointed, well there is no theory that proves to us which penis is better.

It will interest us to know that various races round the world see circumcision as a ritual but today I am going to focus on South Africa where this ritual of male circumcision is taken serious and it is becoming a public health concern because  lot of lives have been lost in this ritual performances while some males have permanently lost their penis or are still battling with a rotten penis due to acquired infections associated with their procedure of circumcision. Also HIV has been a great concern because unsterilized instruments are used during these rituals.

According to inquirerdotnet, Agence France-Presse. Monday, July 8th, 2013. Botched circumcisions killed 30 young men and landed almost 300 more in hospital during traditional initiation rites in a South African province, the health department said Sunday.

The 30 deaths in rural Eastern Cape province occurred during the annual season when young males undergo a rite of passage into manhood.

Ten other youths were hospitalized after being rescued from a forest on Sunday, said provincial health department spokesman SizweKupelo in a statement.

“The ten initiates’ private parts are rotten. They are badly damaged. Their condition is scary,” he said.
A further 293 young men were undergoing hospital treatment for dehydration, gangrene and septic wounds, Kupelo added.

Some had lost their genitals.

Teenagers from ethnic Xhosa, Sotho and Ndebele groups typically spend around a month in secluded bush or mountains areas for their initiation to manhood.

This includes a circumcision as well as lessons on masculine courage and discipline.

Traditional surgeons perform the procedure in the bush, sometimes with unsterilized instruments or lacking in technique.

Botched circumcisions leading to penis amputations and deaths are an annual tragedy.

In May around 34 deaths in two other provinces were reported.

Needless giving more history on these sad events, it has been a regular occurrence in South Africa but the question is what can we do about this public health problem, this is an ugly trend and yet we need to respect people’s culture and tradition.

We public health activists should do our best to convince the south African government to carry out a strong advocacy on safer ways of practicing this circumcision ritual, it will be better off if these males are circumcised as children, not waiting till the grow up to 16 years and above. Also if medical practitioners are involved in the procedure with anaesthesia and sterilized instruments being used, then we can encourage this ritual, but these traditional surgeons are endangering people lives, young and promising fellows. It has been reported severally that people witch hunt their enemies during these ritual by doing a bad procedure on the children of their presumed enemies.

Let us spread this campaign and who knows the South African government might have the political will to face this ugly ritual trend.

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