Men are reportedly shunning the voluntary male circumcision (VMC) campaign, since it was launched in Ntcheu district two years ago, a development that has stamped a feeling of worriedness on medical staff.
Research conducted in the recent past has unravelled that circumcision reduces men’s vulnerability to contract HIV/AIDs plus such other terminal illnesses like cancer. Hundreds of millions of men, world over, have been circumcised and a lot more continue to including in Malawi.
But Ntcheu VMC coordinator Jane Mvenya told Nyasa Times that only 200, mostly youths, have undergone the exercise which defies Ministry of Health’s target of 300 per week.
“We haven’t gone full throttle since we started,” said Mvenya, attributing the low turnout to – among others – understaffing and lack of awareness.
“There hasn’t been enough awareness done. Most of the areas are hilly and thus hard-to-reach.”
Some men who talked to Nyasa Times through snapshot interviews blamed their failure to undergo the operation on the environment at the hospital.
“The minor theatre which they use for the exercise is not private,” said one. “Once they get one, we will go.”
Mvenya was, however, upbeat that their partnership with the International Training and Education Centre for Health (I-TECH) will improve matters.
I-TECH, according to Mvenya, will be providing VMC equipment and help renovate a bigger room within the hospital premises for circumcision.
The Centre will also fund advocacy and sensitization meetings.