by Tendai Mugabe | The Herald
GOVERNMENT is considering making neo-natal male circumcision compulsory as a long-term strategy for HIV prevention.
In an interview yesterday, AIDS and Tuberculosis Unit national director in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Dr. Owen Mugurungi said infant circumcision was more sustainable than adult circumcision.
He said the ministry was still following due process for the feasibility and acceptability studies for its introduction.
Dr. Mugurungi, however, said they were carrying out research on the implications of infant circumcision.
“We have received a lot of inquiries from young couples who wanted their children to be circumcised. We are following due processes for the feasibility and acceptability studies.
“There are people who are advocating infant circumcision and there are some who are against it. We do not want to force anyone and that is why we want to carry out research,” he said.
Dr Mugurungi said it would take time for the country to realise the benefits of infant circumcision.
“It is a long term investment that can only bring benefits maybe after 20 years when the children are sexually active.
“It will be much beneficial to work on the age group that is already sexually active but we also need to start on infant circumcision.”
Dr. Mugurungi said of the estimated 486 000 babies born in Zimbabwe every year, 60 percent are male.
Dr. Mugurungi said that would translate to about 291 600 male babies who have to be circumcised every year.