Namibia Holds Workshop, Conducts Assessment To Examine Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention
In order for Namibia to increase access to male circumcision in an effort to curb the spread of HIV in the country, resources need to be mobilized and health facilities nationwide better prepared, Minister of Health and Social Services Richard Kamwi said recently, the New Era/AllAfrica.com reports. According to the New Era/AllAfrica.com, a two-day workshop to examine issues associated with rolling out a male circumcision campaign opened in Namibia on Tuesday. Speaking at the workshop, Kamwi said that health services are not ready "[a]t this stage" to increase circumcision efforts. Brian Pazvakavambwa -- United Nations AIDS team leader for the Inter-Country Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa -- said that male "circumcision requires resources, hence the need for a well-calculated plan" (Sibeene, New Era/AllAfrica.com, 8/20).
According to the New Era/AllAfrica.com, a nationwide assessment recently was conducted in Namibia to examine attitudes, perceptions, potential effects and resource implications of a male circumcision campaign. According to the assessment, about 21% of adult men in the country are circumcised. It also found that although many respondents understood the potential health benefits of circumcision, they also reported being concerned about risks associated with the procedure. Physician Nelao Amagulu said that health experts are concerned that circumcised men might believe they are immune to HIV and engage in unsafe sex practices. She added that male circumcision should be viewed as "a tool within a comprehensive package" of HIV prevention measures. According to the New Era/AllAfrica.com, experts estimate that 80,000 new HIV cases can be prevented between 2008 and 2025 by strategically targeting male circumcision at adolescent and adult men. Discussions held during the two-day conference will help in the development of a national plan on male circumcision (Sibeene, New Era/AllAfrica.com, 8/19).