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New Medical Male Circumcision Program Launched in Uganda
The Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) partnered with the Mukono health authorities in Uganda to implement its first circumcision program. The newly renovated surgical theatre at the Kojja Health Center IV is now the primary circumcision clinic for the entire Mukono South area.
MUWRP held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 16, 2010 to officially launch the program. Representatives from the Mukono District Health Authority, Kojja Health Center IV, Uganda AIDS Control Program, Uganda AIDS Commission, and the U.S. Embassy attended the ribbon cutting. Attendees walked more than a half-mile in the mud to get to the ceremony after roads became impassable following a rainstorm.
"Today, the U.S. Government and Mukono District authorities have come together to bring circumcision services to Kojja Sub-County,” said MUWRP’s Mark Breda. “Medical Male Circumcision is another speed hump against HIV and now that services are available, the men of Kojja Sub-County have another tool to protect themselves and their families against HIV/AIDS."
With the endorsement of the World Health Organization and scientists worldwide, adult male circumcision is an effective HIV prevention strategy. As a result, there is an increased effort to develop safe and cost-effective circumcision services. These U.S.-funded renovated surgical centers will meet much of the rising demand for circumcision as an effective HIV prevention measure. The program is funded using President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) country operational funding.
In 2009, MUWRP opened the first free, non-research male circumcision program in Uganda. That clinic was located in Kayunga. A second surgical center is scheduled to open later this year in Mukondo. In addition to renovating the surgical theatres, MUWRP is training clinicians, educating the public about medical male circumcision, and working to ensure patient safety.