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MUWRP Provides Safe Male Circumcision at Uganda's Parliament Health Week

December 30, 2011
Nearly 400 men undergo the procedure along with HIV counseling and testing.

The parliamentary commission held its annual Parliament Health Week from December 5-8, 2011. This year’s theme encouraged living a healthy lifestyle and HIV/AIDS and cancer awareness. 

The Parliament of Uganda invited the Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) to promote and provide Safe Male Circumcision (SMC) services to members of Parliament and staff during the health fair at the CHOGM Gardens, on the grounds of Parliament.

In just one week, the MUWRP surgical team provided circumcision for nearly 400 men. The majority of males circumcised on day one were staff of Parliament and children of members of Parliament. As the week progressed, demand for the service increased and the team circumcised 63 men on Tuesday, 83 on Wednesday, 91 on Thursday and 88 on the last day of the health week. The Parliament mobilizer for the health week expressed amazement at the skill and speed with which the surgical team worked.

MUWRP initially planned to spend only three days at the health fair, however, the overwhelming demand for the service led MUWRP to ask Parliament for two extra days to fufill the need. The MUWRP team circumcised 179 men on the additional two days bringing the total number of circumcised males to 375 in the five-day period—this included three members of Parliament and the general public. 

Safe male circumcision was offered as a package that included voluntary HIV counseling and testing, education about SMC, a physical exam to rule out any contra indications to SMC, screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and clear post-surgical instructions. Participants were also given a test of understanding before the procedure. After the health fair, MUWRP staff followed up with participants and found no adverse events had occurred.

The Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga graced the occasion. Other activities at the health week included blood donation, breast and cervical cancer screening, and exhibitions from health service providers and suppliers of healthy living foods and supplements.