In Danger, Inititates in Limpopo. Pictures: Gallo Images
Shocked by the deaths of at least 36 initiates at the cultural circumcision schools in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, the Junior Doctors Association of SA (JUDASA) has kicked off free male medical circumcision campaign for boys.
And the association members have already snipped 50 males, the youngest being just nine and the oldest 30 at the Mankweng hospital over the weekend.
JUDASA chairperson in Limpopo Dr Tshilidzi Sadiki told The New Age on Monday medial doctors were disturbed by deaths at cultural circumcision schools.
“This does not mean we are against cultural circumcision, we are concerned about the high mortality rate and risky medical conditions. We kicked off the campaign at the Mankweng hospital near Polokwane on Saturday.
“Before we circumcise a boy we first screen him for HIV, check for sexually transmissible diseases and find out from his if he is already involved in sexual intercourse.
“This help is to make informed decisions,” said Sadiki.
He said the turn out on Saturday was impressive.
“In these free operations we prefer youths because our campaign is also in line with the June Youth Month.
“It will continue until July and will take place in all the five regions,” he added.
Doctors affiliated to the association do not get paid for the circumcision operations and perform them during their off days.
Provincial health MEC, Norman Mabasa, also a medical doctor has hailed the campaign.
“I am impressed that Judasa members are performing medical circumcisions voluntarily. If they need things like
transport and other things we will assist where possible, said Mabasa.
Meanwhile provincial MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture, Clifford Motsepe said only medically fit traditional surgeons will be allowed to perform cultural circumcisions when they open on the 14th of this month.
“All the traditional surgeons and nurses in the initiation schools must possess certificates from medical doctors. There will be zero tolerance to chance takers” Motsepe warned.