The Nkhata Bay District Health Office (DHO) recently launched a mass Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMCC) which is expected to reach up to about 1,500 males of between 15 and 49 years of age in the district.
DHO spokesperson Christopher Singini said, over the weekend that the campaign is part of the joint efforts that their office and various stakeholders are doing in the fight against HIV and Aids.
Apart from enhancing hygiene among the males, Singini said VMMC has proved instrumental in reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections from males to females with about 60 percent.
“We have deliberately scheduled them as campaign during the holiday so that boys too can undergo the procedure. Chintheche and the district hospital are the major sites for the campaign,” he said.
He disclosed that since the VMMC annual campaign we as rolled out in the district two years ago, the HIV prevalence rate has dropped from 10.1 percent to 6.6 percent.
Singini was, however, quick to mention that the development is resultant of numerous factors inclusive of the VMMC.
“As an office, our underlying statement is that being circumcised is not complete protection from HIV in its own and condom use is highly encouraged,” Singini added.
The campaign, however, is set to meet some sort of resistance due to the cultural misunderstandings among the dominant Tonga tribe in the district, who associate the process with the religion of Islam.
“Our Health Education Department has been vibrant in demystifying some of such misconceptions, by and by people in the district have shrugged their fears and time has come for men to stay clean and protected,” Singini stressed.
In a bid to enhance its fight against the HIV and Aids pandemic, the government of Malawi through Ministry of Health in 2013 launched the VMMC national campaign which has been running to date.
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