Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, wants to circumcise 1 000 boys in KwaZulu-Natal
3 Jul 2010
Speaking today, 3 July 2010, following a visit to circumcision camps in Gamalakhe College and Vulekani Special School in uMzimkhulu, Dr Motsoeledi said the nation is proud of the young men who have taken a decision to join the army in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the country.
"In this country, we have 52 districts with regards to those with high HIV prevalence, the top four comprise of three districts from KwaZulu-Natal (UGu, eThekwini and UMgungundlovu) and one from Mpumalanga (Gert Sibande).
"It is for this reason that I feel very proud of your decision to come forward and be messengers of his majesty in the fight against HIV and AIDS."
In the first two days in July, 850 people have been circumcised in the various camps held in kwaNongoma, UMgungundlovu, Ladysmith, uMzimkhulu, Amajuba and Gamalakhe.
The camps have seen the three doctors in charge of health policy in the country, The Minister of Health, Dr Motsoaledi; Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Mkhize; and the MEC for Health, Dr Dhlomo taking up their coats and scalpels and performing circumcisions.
Dr Motsoaledi said government has a comprehensive prevention strategy which has a number of elements. These include prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), post exposure prophylaxis (PEP), condom use, male circumcision and the HIV counselling and testing (HCT) campaign to mention a few.
In South Africa, 70 000 babies are born with HIV from their mothers every year whereas in a country like France only four babies contract HIV from their mothers.
"When we launched the HCT campaign, I committed to do at least 1 000 circumcisions and it is befitting that I start here in KwaZulu-Natal where I learned medicine at the then University of Natal.
"Our HCT campaign has three core messages and these are: I am responsible. We are responsible and South Africa is taking responsibility.
"You are, today, taking responsibility for your lives and together we are all taking responsibility for the future of our country."
He said South Africa accounts for 0,7 percent of the world's population but it has 17 percent of the world's HIV infections. This country is number one in the 22 countries with the highest tuberculosis (TB) disease burden in the world.
"Today is the start of a long journey in the fight against a brutal disease that takes the very young. When I grew up it was the young that buried the elderly, but now, the elders are burying their children and grandchildren."
He stated that according to Statistics South Africa, in 2007, 57 percent of deaths in young people it was because of HIV. In 2006, Statistics South Africa further said six out of 10 deaths were below 50 years of age.
"I look forward to a day when we will stand together in front of the world and say: we have overcome!" he said.
Journalists are invited to join the MEC as he visits the Eshowe camp.
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Issued by: Department of Health
3 Jul 2010
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