1 millionth circumcision in KZN. Challenge now is to circumcise another 1 million soon, says MEC Dhlomo

25 May 2018

As the world commemorates Africa Day today, KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo has circumcised the 1 millionth man in the province – and it’s none other than KwaMashu-born Invictus and former Generations actor Melusi Yeni.

And now that this significant milestone has been achieved, MEC Dhlomo says the big challenge for the province it to accelerate its efforts and circumcise another 1 million men soon.

Yeni was circumcised at Sivananda Clinic, opposite the historic Ohlange High School, at Inanda, north of Durban, which was built by John Langalibalele Dube, founder of the African National Congress.

The 1 millionth circumcision exercise was part of a high profile community outreach programme that was attended by Isilo SamaBandla, the Premier of KZN Mr Willies Mchunu, IFP leader Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi and a host of other dignitaries and partners in the health sector.

They joined a large jovial crowd which included amakhosi and izinduna, and filled a giant marquee at the Qadi Sports Field at Umzinyathi, Inanda. Proceedings also saw the unveiling of a huge billboard marking the circumcision of 1 million men, and thanking the King.

"I’m pleased to become the 1 millionth man to be circumcised in KZN. And I want to make a vow that I will continue working hard to encourage other men to get circumcised because the benefits are immense, and can go a low way in helping us curb the spread of HIV in our country. Before the circumcision, I was a little nervous about the procedure itself, but it went well. I was in good hands. Dr Dhlomo is a consummate professional," said Yeni.

The practice of Medical Male Circumcision in KZN began in 2010, following a clarion call in late 2009 by Isilo SamaBandla, uBhejane Ephuma Esiqiwini, for the practice to be revived as a strategy to halt to spread of HIV infections.

Medical Male Circumcision has been found by scientists to lower the chances of female-male transmission of HIV by 60%. It also makes the male genitalia easier to clean; reduces the risk of acquiring some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) whether you are HIV-negative or HIV-positive; and it may reduce a man’s risk of penile cancer; and a female partner’s risk of cervical cancer.

Today, MEC Dhlomo paid tribute to Isilo SamaBandla for his instrumental role in bringing back MMC.

We are very excited to have reached this milestone of 1 million circumcisions and no deaths, and wish to express our heartfelt thanks to our King, Isilo SamaBandla, for reviving this practice. If it were not for his call, we would not be where we are today."

"The challenge for Malusi now is to help recruit more men to get circumcised. We have to circumcise another 1 million men soon. Once we do that, we will have significantly lowered the numbers of new HIV infections."

1 millionth circumcision in KZN

1 millionth circumcision in KZN

MEC Dhlomo, however, hastened to issue a strong warning that MMC should not be used as a license for sexually irresponsible behaviour, emphasising that being circumcised reduces the risk of HIV infection only by 60%.

Medical Male Circumcision is not a license to behave anyhow. Do not make that mistake of having unprotected sex just because you are circumcised. If you test positive you will be counselled and initiated on treatment. If you test negative, you must strive to remain negative for as long as you live. This, you can achieve by ensuring that you use Dual Protection, which entails using condoms during every episode of sex, and combine this with contraceptives for women to avoid unwanted pregnancy."

Consul General Sherry Zalika Sykes congratulated the Province for reaching this milestone.

Inkosi Buthelezi said the fact that 1 million men have been circumcised since 2009 bears testimony to the Province’s leaders to the health of the people.

"The King’s support for this campaign is part of a war that he has waged against HIV/Aids for several decades. His reinstatement of the Reed Dance Ceremony, which promotes abstinence before marriage, was one of the first calls to war. He has used his position to of authority to change mind-sets and save lives."

KZN Premier Mr Willies Mchunu said: "As KwaZulu-Natal, our march towards being a prosperous province must among others include the attainment of excellence in at least three areas of our lives: Health, Education and Morality. Excellent Health means that the population can live longer, and be economically productive for an extended period of life.

"I wish to pay tribute to His Majesty for playing a major role in changing the behaviour of not only young people, but society in general. As we battle the challenges we face as a province with regard to morality, it is comforting to know we have His Majesty as our pillar and beacon.

In particular, we consider the return of Virginity Testing and Male Circumcision by His Majesty as key interventions in efforts to return morality and the battle against the HIV and AIDS epidemic in our province."

Isilo Samabandla congratulated the Province on reaching the milestone of 1 million circumcisions.

Additional information on Medical Male Circumcision

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This page last edited on 25 May, 2018

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