KZN male circumcision to start in winter

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pretoria - A programme to revive the practice of male circumcision in KwaZulu-Natal will kick off this winter, says Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize.

In his State of the Province Address on Wednesday, Dr Mkhize said progress has been made in preparing for the commencement of the operations, adding that they have received tremendous support from the traditional leaders and many sectors including Islamic and Jewish communities.

The call for the revival of male circumcision was made by His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelinthini as a major advancement in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

"The announcement [revival of male circumcision] assisted greatly in focussing on action than endless debates, it also offers an opportunity to address the concerns that the traditional methods used in campaigns to prevent HIV spread focused only to young women and not boys," Dr Mkhize noted.

Mkhize said attention must go to the districts, where the disease is the worst such as the Umgungundlovu, eThekwini and Ugu districts.

He said districts should focus on nutrition, treatment of HIV and AIDS and TB and the management of secondary infections which will reduce maternal mortality.

Focus must also be placed on the treatment of TB and reduce the spread, the emergence of resistant strains, reducing the defaulter rate and improving the cure rate, he said.