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Safe Male Circumcision Services Now Offered at the Mukono Health Center, Uganda
Mukono District Health authorities, in collaboration with the Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP), officially launched a Safe Male Circumcision Program at the Mukono Health Center IV on August 8. MUWRP recently completed renovations of the minor surgical theatre at the Health Center, which will serve as the long-standing circumcision clinic for Mukono Town.
MUWRP has been supporting free Safe Male Circumcision services for HIV prevention through district sites since 2009 when MUWRP opened the first free, non-research male circumcision program in Uganda. The start of these services at the Mukono Health Center falls on the heels of MUWRP’s debut of the first ever mobile circumcision clinic, which has been operating since spring 2011.
“Safe male circumcision must be offered as a package which includes pre-and post surgical counseling, surgery, follow-up medical care, and the strongest possible emphasis on consistent condom use and limiting the number of sexual partners,” said Mark Breda, PEPFAR Program Manager for MUWRP. To ensure the safety of this service, health workers from the District have been trained in comprehensive circumcision services and follow-up.
Based on research findings that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV acquisition in circumcised men by 60%, the World Health Organization and the Uganda Ministry of Health endorsed these findings and are promoting safe male circumcision as an effective HIV prevention strategy.
In a recent study of more than 300 men who voluntarily underwent male circumcision in rural Uganda, MUWRP researchers found that using local health workers to implement male circumcision can be safe and satisfactory for men undergoing the procedure. These results were presented at the IAS 2011 conference held in July in Rome.