Tracking the male circumcision rollout

male_circumcision2NAIROBI -- Medical male circumcision is now widely recognised as an important HIV prevention tool, and several African countries have included it in their national HIV strategies. ??

IRIN/PlusNews lists the progress of southern Africa countries identified as priority countries for male circumcision scale-up by the UN World Health Organisation.

Zambia: Male circumcision prevalence is 13 percent, and Zambia aims to circumcise about 250,000 men every year. More than 16,000 men were circumcised at 11 sites in 2009, and the goal is to have 300 sites offering the services by 2014. ??

Swaziland: The Ministry of Health and Human Services plans to provide circumcision to 80 percent of men aged 15 to 24 by the end of 2014. Just eight percent of Swazi men are circumcised. The country – which has the world’s highest HIV prevalence – developed a male circumcision strategy in 2008; by the end of 2009 more than 5,000 men had undergone the surgery. ??

Botswana: Five centres of excellence have been identified to scale-up circumcision services, and Botswana’s Ministry of Health aims to reach at least 460,000 HIV negative men and boys below the age of 49 by 2012. More than 4,300 men have been circumcised since April 2009. ??

Zimbabwe: In April 2009 the pilot phase of service delivery began, during which 1,818 men were circumcised at four sites. A national male circumcision policy was launched in November 2009. ??

South Africa: The government has been criticized for moving too slowly in developing a national circumcision strategy. By December 2009 the country had a draft policy but no mechanisms for training, quality assurance, or monitoring and evaluation. ?South Africa has the world’s largest HIV-positive population. ?About 35 percent of men are circumcised.

Namibia: A draft policy was submitted to parliament and training of surgical health professionals is underway. Five circumcision pilot sites have been identified, two of which are in operation. A 2009 field analysis showed that the unit cost per procedure was very high: US$88 for adults and $72 for newborns.

Lesotho: About 4,000 men are circumcised annually at government and private clinics. A policy has been approved but is yet to be launched, and formal scale-up has not yet started. The Puisano Outreach Organization, a local NGO, is engaged in male circumcision campaigns throughout the country. ??

Mozambique: No formal policy for male circumcision has been developed, but an existing operational plan for HIV prevention includes circumcision. Five pilot sites have been selected for scale-up in 2010.

Malawi: The country is conducting data analysis to inform its male circumcision strategy. A local NGO, Banja la Mtsogolo, is providing male circumcision services in its clinics, where it has 19 trained clinicians performing the procedure.

Post published in: Analysis

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