MP wants male circumcision made mandatory and free

Kaguchia wants circumcision conducted by medical professionals to guarantee the safety.

In Summary
  • MP John Kaguchia said implementing mandatory male circumcision can lead to a significant reduction of STIs, lowering the health care costs.
  • Kaguchia also wants circumcision conducted by medical professionals to guarantee the safety.
Mukurwe-ini MP John Kaguchia.
Mukurwe-ini MP John Kaguchia.
Image: Alice Waithera

Mukurwe-ini MP John Kaguchia wants the government to make male circumcision free and mandatory for public health purposes.

At the same time, Kaguchia wants circumcision conducted by medical professionals to guarantee the safety .

The MP has written to the National Assembly’s legal counsel Andala Eshitsimi indicating his intent to introduce a legislation that will control the practice that is largely considered as a rite of passage.

On November 30, Eshitsimi wrote back to the MP saying, " We acknowledge receipt of your letter requesting to introduce a legislation seeking to provide for free mandatory male circumcision under medical supervision.

"We are working on the instructions and  will get back to you in due course".

In the November 7 letter, Kaguchia says the aim of the bill will be to enhance the safety of circumcision while significantly reducing the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases.

“In the recent past, minors have been maimed while undergoing circumcision as a rite of passage in the absence of trained medical professionals,” Kaguchia said.

He said mandating circumcision under medical supervision will ensure the procedure is performed safely and adheres to stringent standards of care and hygiene.

The MP proposes that males be circumcised between birth and 18 years with medics assessing each case to ensure those with specific health concerns are treated with appropriate caution.

Minors with conditions such as haemophilia, a bleeding condition that causes blood not to clot properly and is passed on from parents to children, have to be hospitalised for several weeks before undergoing circumcision as they undergo treatment with clotting factors.

Kaguchia said sexually transmitted diseases are a public health threat and increase health care costs, with research indicating that circumcised males have a substantially reduced risk of contracting HIV, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and other STIs.

“The Centre for Diseases Control (CDC) has noted that male circumcision decreases the risk of acquiring HIV through heterosexual intercourse by between 50 to 60 per cent,” he said.

Implementing mandatory male circumcision, the MP said, can lead to a significant reduction in the incidences of HPV, HIV and other STIs, lowering the health care costs associated with their treatment and long term management.

A decline in STIs would contribute to a healthier workforce, improved productivity and improved overall societal well-being, he added.

Kaguchia said though the current policy environment leans more towards the promotion of voluntary medical male circumcision, he is persuaded that mandating the practice through law is necessary at this time for public health purposes.

“The introduction of mandatory medically supervised male circumcision between birth and 18 years of age will contribute significantly to a healthier, safer and more prosperous society for all,” he said.

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