Thursday, 10 May 2012

Circumcision puts African men at risk

Unnecessary Male Circumcision is causing substantial complications for men in Africa say the authors of a report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

According to the report, traditional circumcisions are increasing the risk of HIV transmission because of the use of contaminated equipment.

A 2008 World Health Organization bulletin stated that more than 1 in 3 (35%) of traditional male circumcisions result in complications and nearly 1 in 5 (18%) clinical circumcisions result in complications.

Sizwe Kupelo a spokesman for the Eastern Cape provincial health department said the practice is common in the province where eighteen-year old boys generally undergo circumcision rites during school holidays. The procedure is performed outdoors by a traditional leader who uses a spear to remove the foreskin.

In some cultures, such as the Yao in Malawi, the Lunda and Luvale in Zambia, or the Bagisu in Uganda, it is unacceptable to remain uncircumcised, to the extent that forced circumcisions of older boys are not uncommon - according to WHO And UNAIDS report Male Circumcision: global trends and determinants of prevalence, safety and acceptability. 

Among the Xhosa in South Africa men who have not been circumcised can suffer extreme forms of punishment,

including bullying and beatings. This discrimination may extend to entire ethnic groups, as in the case of the Luo in Kenya, who do not traditionally practise circumcision and report that they are often discriminated against by other Kenyans because of this.

In Uganda the Gishu (or Bagishu) tribe do not tolerate uncircumcised men and any man or boy who escapes ritual circumcision faces the prospect of being forcibly circumcised.

In 1999 in the Vaal Triangle district of South Africa, a gang of kidnappers controlled by a woman abducted young people, forcibly circumcising the boys and extorting ransoms from their parents for their release. A local police officer said as many as 10 teenagers were being snatched every day.

In Kenya a cabinet minister called for "those who are not circumcised should be taken for a circumcision ceremony" and in January 2008, circumcision became an issue between President Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu and opposition candidate Raila Odinga, a Luo, with some Kikuyus seeing Odinga as unfit to rule because he had not passed through circumcision and initiation. Post-election violence included several cases of forced circumcision.

One Kenyan man's reported his experience saying: "a group of eight men with pangas (machetes) entered... they slashed me and they circumcised me by force. I screamed a lot and cried for help". 


  1. There are studies that show that, contrary to popular belief, circumcision in females does NOT eliminate the possibility of orgasm. In a news report, a man against FGM argues that such studies shouldn't be published because it plays right into the hands of FGM advocates.

    There are a few studies which suggest that FGM may provide some sort of "protection" from HIV. Perhaps the WHO has the same attitude as the man above?

    The sexism is infuriating.

  2. male or female, circumcision is wrong. actually, circumcision is questioning the integrity of god almighty, the creator. one way or other, circumcisers try to prove that his creation, man is not a perfect build. it is ridiculous. stop circumcision. it is a fraud and a hoax.

  3. You cannot concluded that the opposition leader of Kenya Raila is not circumcised just become comes from a tribe that does not traditionally circumcise their men. That is a very simplistic argument. There are tribes that traditionally circumcise their men, but you will still find men from.the same tribes that are not cut. The opposite is true