South African men have responded well to the circumcision challenge by popular soapie star and Brothers for Life ambassador Kagiso Modupe but he says they’re not yet at their target of 2,000 men.
Modupe is particularly calling on men who are delaying have the procedure for fear of pain and inconvenience, “I share their fears and concerns – I thought of circumcising for years, but I was nervous. I know it is the right thing to do for me and for my wife’s health, and I know circumcision is an important factor in reducing HIV and STI infection and preventing cancer.”
Modupe continues: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the men I’ve talked to. We have received close to 1500 calls and hundreds of messages. We were in Durban this past weekend and a number of men went straight to get circumcised. The number of bookings for medical circumcisions has rocketed.”
“Many men are talking to me,” says Modupe. “My main impression is that they are held back by fear and lack of knowledge. Some think I am too old at 33 as there is a perception that men should be circumcised at a young age. But the reality is that men can be circumcised at any age. It’s never too late to look after your sexual health. Some talk about their fear of pain – I was worried about that too – but the procedure is done with a local anaesthetic and patients are given pain killers if they need them. Those who have had the procedure say that pain isn’t a big issue. And finally, they raise the issue of traditional versus medical circumcision – there is certainly place for both types and each man can choose for himself.”
Men can book for a medical circumcision by sending a ‘please call me’ to 082 808 6152 to secure a slot on #ZwakalaSkeem day at one of 150 clinics in Gauteng, KZN, Mpumpalanga and the North West. #ZwakalaSkeem means “come with me, brother”.
Says Modupe, “I visited the clinic in Katlehong where I will have my procedure on Saturday and met my doctor. I am deeply impressed by her knowledge and experience as well as that of the health professionals there. I feel completely safe in their hands as they are highly trained and they put me at ease.”
Dr Khumbulani Moyo, medical male circumcision manager at the USAID-funded Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision consortium consisting of partners Right to Care, CHAPS and MatCH says: “We are running this campaign with Kagiso because HIV and STI infection can be prevented through circumcision; it also reduces the risks of cervical, anal and prostate cancer.”
Modupe will be medically circumcised by Dr Josephine Otchere-Darko, technical director for Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention Studies (CHAPS), at 9h30 on Saturday, 11 March 2017 at the Katlehong North Municipal Clinic. Medical circumcisions will be taking place at another 150 clinics across the country at the same time.
“I hope that, by sharing my experience and being open about it I can help men overcome their fears and learn everything they need to know to make the right choice for themselves and their partners,” says Modupe.