When Moses Mwanza secretly underwent voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in 2010 with his schoolmates, the decision was purely made out of the desire to inspire many young men as possible to undergo circumcision, and the benefits that come with it.
Moses, then 20years old, knew that he needed to inspire his community.
“My goal at that time was to convince my family members firstly to accept the benefits of male circumcision, and in order for me to do that, I had to undergo the procedure. After convincing five members of my family, I thought of extending the benefits to my community by becoming a Community Mobiliser and raise awareness about VMMC”.
Moses works as a Community Mobiliser at Kapata Clinic, Eastern Province.“My role has been to sensitise the community on the benefits of male circumcision in relation to HIV prevention and generate demand for the service. Added to that, I conduct follow ups on clients that have undergone circumcision procedures to ensure that their wounds were healing well.”
Moses says the continued mentorship from has helped him accomplish his goals.
“I must say that it was not easy at first to convince men to undergo circumcision because most of them would ask if I am circumcised and demand to physically see, and only then would they go ahead learn more and access the service.
With continued mentorship from CIDRZ, I found it easier to overcome these challenges. I have acquired a lot of skills in ensuring that we reach out to as many men as possible. CIDRZ has continuously offered me technical and mentorship support. I learnt that provision of health care services such as VMMC requires constant reviews to evaluate the impact of the services we are giving our clients and make necessary improvements where we are lagging behind”, he adds.
The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) with support from the United States President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been offering male circumcision services since 2013 as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment programme through working closely with community volunteers such Moses.