CIDRZ Community team: Senior Community Advisor, Mr. Fresher Maphiri; Male Circumcision Coordinator, Bright Jere, and Western Province Community Implementation Officer, David Sitali are in Western province for community sensitization programmes on medical male circumcision.
“We want to engage stakeholders, particularly the Mongu District Commissioner (DC), the Town clerk, the King of Barotseland – Litunga – through the KUTA and other traditional leaders in our catchment facilities on the need for male circumcision as a high impact intervention against the transmission of HIV/AIDS”, said Mr Jere.
“Our particular area of discussion is the concern on low male involvements Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV as well as low uptake of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) in non-traditional circumcision seasons in the province.
We want to solicit support to drive these programmes to their successful completion,” Mr Jere added.
Meanwhile, Mongu DC has pledged full support to these interventions and is particularly excited with the work CIDRZ is doing in the province.
He, however, emphasised the need for closer collaboration, coordination and pulling of limited available resources from all stakeholders to effectively and efficiently achieve program objectives.
Studies show that VMMC provides men with up to 60% protection against getting HIV from infected female sexual partners. Other health benefits include decreased risk of penis cancer, and reduced risk of infecting female sexual partners with the human papilloma virus (HPV) – the cause of cancer of the cervix.
The WHO recommends Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) as a long-term HIV prevention strategy for countries like Zambia with low circumcision and high HIV-infection rates.
CIDRZ, with support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), supports the Zambian Government’s National VMMC programme and provides services or supports circumcision facilities in Western, Southern, Lusaka and Eastern provinces of Zambia through static or mobile sites.