More than 50 men from the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) have undergone safe male circumcision in the eastern Ugandan district of Amuria.
The exercise, which ran Friday (19 October) to Saturday at Kapelebyong Health Centre IV, saw a total of 52 men circumcised. Among them were policemen and personnel from UPDF’s Anti Stock Theft Unit.
The Ugandan government is currently promoting safe male circumcision as part of a package of HIV prevention measures. Non governmental organisations such as the Red Cross, in partnership with Baylor Uganda, have been running several camps to implement this.
Richard Omujal, the in charge of Kapelebyong Health Centre IV, said the exercise was “moving smoothly without any complication received.”
Omujal hopes that the circumcision will contribute towards curbing the spread of HIV among the forces in Kapelebyong as studies suggest men who are circumcised are less likely to contract HIV than those who are not. However, circumcision should not be relied on as an HIV prevention method as people should always use condoms.
Views on circumcision
Some of the people who underwent circumcision had this to say about the exercise.
“I have been thinking that male circumcision is very painful but today when I underwent it I realised that its not painful. Am ok, that is why am even putting on my trousers,” said John Akileng, a resident of Acowa sub county.
Another resident, Peter Odoko said he had always wanted to go for circumcision but was being prevented by his wife who was opposed to the idea.
“I managed to convince her that I will still remain normal even after circumcision, and she believed me when she heard on radio that male circumcision also helps prevent the spread of cervical cancer,” he said.
In related news…
The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) has encouraged the people of Katakwi district, eastern Uganda to go for safe male circumcision since they have been in camps for years.
Sam Emukoki, the public relations officer TASO Soroti, says places where people settle in one area such as a camp are at risk of contracting HIV. He said circumcision reduces the risk of contracting HIV with some studies suggesting this risk is reduced by up to 60%, and therefore it should be taken seriously by the people of Katakwi.
Baylor Uganda, in conjunction with Katakwi hospital, is currently conducting safe male circumcision in the area.