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Shortage of circumcision tools amid high demand

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th August 2012 12:59 PM

Health facilities across the country have run out of supplies for Safe Male Circumcision kits, an HIV expert has said.

Shortage of circumcision tools amid high demand

Health facilities across the country have run out of supplies for Safe Male Circumcision kits, an HIV expert has said.

By Francis Emorut                            

Health facilities across the country have run out of supplies for Safe Male Circumcision kits, an HIV expert has said.

Dr. Carol Nakkazi who is attached to Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) says there is a huge demand for SMC across the country but the tool kits for conducting male circumcision procedure are inadequate.

“The Ministry of Health and Uganda AIDS Commission have done mass mobilization across the country and it has created high demand for male circumcision as men flock health facilities to be circumcised only to be disappointed after the tool kits have run out,” Dr. Nakkazi said.

The kit for carrying out surgical circumcision includes reusable and disposable supplies.

The items are scissors, forceps, knife handles, blades, needle holders, wrappers, aprons, surgical gloves, surgical caps and masks, cotton wool rolls, syringes, gauze rolls, spirit bottles and others.

Nakkazi observed that it is only the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that procures male circumcision tool kits in the country.

Her appeal to government is to allow the National Medical Stores to procure male circumcision supplies to address the shortage in the country.

The medical expert made the remarks during a meeting for civil society organisations on promoting integration of sexual reproductive health in their HIV programmes at Kampala Serena Hotel.

The meeting was organized by Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) and Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organisation.

She said the shortage of tool kits for male circumcision has left many men who intend to be circumcised let down.

The districts where ministry of health and UAC have conducted safe male circumcision with a high demand are Rakai, Kasese, Mayuge, Kampala in Wakiso, Butambala, Gomba, Arua and the districts in Acholi and Lango subregion.

The executive director of RHU, Jackson Chekweko emphasized the need to incorporate sexual reproductive health into civil society organisations’ programming to prevent HIV/AIDS infection and unwanted pregnancies.

Denis Bakomesa, the technical coordinator on sexual reproductive health and HIV at RHU cited Kanungu district where hundreds of men turned up for circumcision.

He says they were overwhelmed by the huge number as well as those seeking family planning services.

The executive director of Mama’s Club, Dr. Lydia Mugherera urged civil society organizations and other stakeholders to involve men in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Safe Male Circumcision was introduced in the country by Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) in partnership with Makerere University and the US Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) in the early 2000s.

The medical practice is intended to prevent HIV infection but it is not 100% safe, medical experts claim.

According to World Health Organisation and United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) trials in Uganda, South Africa and Kenya have shown that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%.

Shortage of circumcision tools amid high demand

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