Men in Rumphi are vehemently refusing to get their foreskins clipped in the government backed Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) push aimed at reducing HIV infections.
Madoda ghakanilathu kudumula vinkhwenyo
Rumphi nutrition and HIV/Aids officer, Blessings Kanyangale said men in the district says VMMC is not in line with Tumbuka culture and that it part of Islamic belief not Christian.
“Circumcision is being regarded as sin to the Tumbuka culture. Some men also said it is against their religious belief but suitable for Muslims. Men are shunning circumcision because of these two things,” said Kanyangale.
According to him, the development has made the hospital to reduce their target.
“Imagine, in 2013 we planned to circumcise 2, 569 across the district but out of the figure only 914 men were circumcised. So, for the year 2017-2018 we reduced the figure,” he disclosed.
Exective Director for National Aids Commission (NAC), Davie Kalomba said the trend is not strange because circumcision is a new phenomenon in some cultures but ask the hospital to organize mass sensitization campaign.
Despite the claim, some traditional leaders have accused the hospital officials for failing to sensitize the community especially on the important of circumcision.
“Some men are indeed saying that but it is because of ignorance. The hospital is failing to go around the area educating men on its important,” said some chiefs.
Studies show VMCC reduces chances of HIV infections by 60 percent.