Premier to address healthcare workers on bringing back male circumcision practice for HIV prevention
6 January 2010
The KwaZulu-Natal government is preparing itself to heed the call made by His Majesty, King GZ Zulu, to bring back the custom of male circumcision as part of preventing the scourge of HIV.
The call was made by His Majesty during his address at the Umkhosi Wokweshwama (first fruit ceremony) held at his royal palace on 5 December 2009. The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize, together with the MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, will be motivating staff and healthcare workers to pull-up their sleeves and heed the King’s call.
A number of studies have shown that while male circumcision does not provide complete protection against HIV infection, it lowers the risk of heterosexual HIV transmission. Circumcised men still become infected with the virus and, if HIV positive, can infect their sexual partners. Promoting and providing safe male circumcision does not replace other interventions to prevent heterosexual transmission of HIV but provides an additional prevention.
“It is critical to ensure that clear and correct information on the continuing need for other HIV prevention measures is provided. This will be necessary to prevent men developing a false sense of security and engaging in high-risk sexual behaviours which could undermine the partial protection provided by male circumcision,” says the MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
The Premier will be consulting all stakeholders from traditional leaders to civil society organisations in the coming weeks in his endeavour to ensure that careful and balanced information and education underlies the roll-out of a male circumcision campaign.
Journalists are invited to the meeting with healthcare workers to be held as follows:
Date: 13 January 2010
Venue: Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central hospital, nurses’ home hall
In the evening, of the same day, the Premier will address other healthcare professionals such as the Islamic Doctors Organisation, the South African Medical Association (SAMA), Rural Doctors Association, Khanya Africa, etc. at a dinner on the same subject. He will also address the traditional leaders on 19 January 2010.
Issued by: Department of Health, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
6 January 2010
Source: Department of Health, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government (http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/)