Botswana Health Officials Announce HIV-Prevention Project To Circumcise 80% of Eligible Men Over Five Years
Botswana's Ministry of Health is launching a project that aims to circumcise nearly 500,000 men over the next five years in an effort to prevent the spread of HIV, the AFP/Daily Telegraph reports. Janet Mwambona, a public health specialist who is leading the project, said that officials decided to launch the program following a series of studies that showed circumcision can reduce a man's risk of HIV. "For the public health benefits of the preventive effect of circumcision to be realized, the Ministry of Health is supposed to cover 80% of eligible males in Botswana," Mwambona said, adding that hospitals nationwide are scheduling and performing the procedure.
According to the AFP/Telegraph, about 50 health care providers, including 27 physicians, have been trained to perform surgical circumcisions. In addition, the campaign includes television and radio advertisements that encourage men to visit clinics to undergo a safe circumcision surgery (AFP/Daily Telegraph, 5/8).