Health Ministry to conduct male circumcision validation survey

By Mercy Imali

The Ministry of Health has kicked off a validation survey on Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) in Nyanza to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The study aims to determine the number of circumcised males in Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya and Migori.

The survey requires trained medical personnel to seek a man’s consent before examining his genitals for accuracy.

Homa Bay county chief officer for Health Gerald Akeche and director Gordon Okomo launched the exercise in Homa Bay Town

“If the client declines physical examination, the interviewer will not coerce them but proceed as per the protocol,” Dr Akeche said.

VMMC was started in Nyanza in 2008 with the key purpose of helping curb the spread of HIV in Nyanza, which had the highest prevalence rates at over 20 per cent per county.

The survey is funded by the US government and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It will help in determining what resources to invest in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“When VMMC was launched a decade ago, the rate of new HIV infections declined so did the number of men who turned up to be circumcised. The survey will determine whether there are still men out there who need to be circumcised,” Akeche said.