Health
Imbalu surgeons abandon risky practises as HIV surges
Publish Date: Dec 14, 2012
Imbalu surgeons abandon risky practises as HIV surges
A man undergoes circumcision rituals in Mbale
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Joseph Wanzusi
 
The increase in HIV infections has forced some Bagisu to abandon the cultural circumcision rituals they have treasured for centuries.
 
Traditionally, the local surgeons (Bakhebi) would use one knife (Inyembe) on several candidates (Basinde). But following various sensitisation programmes by the health officials in Bugisu region, the policy is now “one knife, one candidate”.
 
Yusuf Wamboga, who has been a local circumcision surgeon since 1988, says while in the past local surgeons would operate as individuals, today, their operations are carried out under the umbrella organisation, Bamasaaba Local Surgeons Association.
 
“Every circumcision season, the surgeons undergo a re-orientation training on safe male circumcision. The aim is to make circumcision safer for the candidates and the local surgeons,” Wamboga says.
 
“In the association, the “one knife, one candidate” policy is emphasised and each surgeon is expected to carry at least 10 knives. In addition, he is required to wash his hands with clean water and soap after circumcising. This has, however, pushed up the price of the knives from sh2,000 to sh10,000 per knife,” Wamboga explains.
 
In the past, when a surgeon accidently cut himself, he would let the blood from the circumcision candidate’s wound drop into his, but this has since stopped because of the risk of contracting HIV, Wamboga adds.
 
He says currently, no surgeon is allowed to circumcise if he has a wound.
However, Wamboga appeals to the Government to educate parents, whose sons are due for the ritual, on the risks of contracting infections. He also urges the Government to facilitate the local surgeons in Bugisu. 
 
“Some parents still believe in cultural practices, such as  smearing one with cow dung, clay and yeast, yet they can expose one to infections,” Wamboga says.
 
Sironko district health officer Dr. Rogers Nabende, says the district health department has trained and deployed three clinical officers at Budadiri Health Centre IV to carry out safe male circumcision.
 
“Since the beginning of the year, over 250 boys have been circumcised at the health centre. This has encouraged many young boys to opt for safe male circumcision at the facility,” Nabende says.
 
Meanwhile, the AIDS Information Centre in Mbale circumcised over 650 males, not so much as a ritual of the Bagisu, but because it helps reduce the risks of contracting HIV. 
 
However, most circumcision candidates, according to James Khulosya, a minister in the Inzu Ya Masaaba cultural institution, prefer to undergo the cultural ritual. He attributes this to their cultural attachment.  
 
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Diarrhea outbreak reported at Maluku gov
One inmate told New Vision that “a good number” of prisoners in different wards have suffered from diarrhea, and that there are more cases being reported....
Western region tops in lifesaving drugs - report
A new report shows that the western region has the highest and best coverage of the essential medicines in Uganda....
Brain implant senses
A new kind of brain implant senses a patient''s intent to move a robotic arm, researchers have said....
Countries
Countries have agreed to rid the world of malaria almost completely over the next 15 years, the WHO says....
Some 30 nations
About 30 countries have health systems that are as dangerously weak, the WHO warns....
New cancer centre to treat 20,000 patients
PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni opened a state-of-the-art cancer center at Mulago National Referral Hospital, capable of treating 20,000 patients per year built in partnership with Uganda Cancer Institute...
Should politicians be banned from addressing religious gatherings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter