MIKE MUGALA, Lusaka
THE Ministry of Health has circumcised over 40,000 men and boys across the country in the second phase of the on-going Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC).
The ministry circumcised over 140,000 in the just-ended April (first phase) VMMC campaign.
Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Mail on Friday, Ministry of Health permanent secretary for administration Kennedy Malama said VMMC is one of the key methods of preventing HIV transmission from males to females.
“Our target is to circumcise 162,450 men and boys in all the 10 provinces of the country in the ongoing VMMC campaign. We have currently circumcised 45,000 men and boys. For the April campaign our target was 108,002 and we managed to circumcise 147,682,” he said.
Dr Malama said VMMC is one of the major strategies the ministry is using to end AIDS by 2030.
He said VMMC improves hygiene in males, reduces the risk of transmitting human papilloma virus from males to females which contributes to cervical cancer in women and reduces of chances of cancer in males.
Dr Malama has urged all Zambian men and boys to rise to the occasion and turn up in large numbers and take advantage of the ongoing campaign.
“Key to our response is to ensure no one is left behind. HIV prevention is only effective when all preventive interventions are implemented at individual and community level in combination and to scale.
“As we promote VMMC, we urge all our people to know their HIV status so that those negative are supported to remain negative and those positive are immediately put on life saving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).” Dr Malama said.
He said the country has moved away from voluntary counselling and testing to counselling, testing and treatment.