US funded initiative sees 150,000 men get circumcised in 10 years
The Ministry of Health and Social Services together with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief have circumcised 150,000 men since 2009 via the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) intervention.
According to the Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, Minister of Health and Social Services, Namibia further intends to provide circumcision services to a further 150,000 men by the end of 2020.
In this vein, the United States Agency for International Development last week also donated tents and other VMMC outreach equipment valued at N$280,000 to the ministry.
“The camping equipment that we are receiving from USAID today was identified by AIDSFree as a solution to close the distance and service gap in the rural areas. It will go a long way in ensuring that outreach teams provide services on demand in the community, including compulsory follow-ups with clients, reducing the number of visits and the chance of adverse events. It will also enable VMMC providers to continue setting safe and uncompromised standards,” Shangula said.
U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson emphasized that Namibia is doing well with regards to the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals, and that with the help of VMMC the country may soon reach HIV epidemic control.
“I would like to reiterate that VMMC is only one of many interventions in the HIV prevention toolbox. Others are pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, and condoms. Circumcision does not substitute for a condom, which, if used correctly, provides the best protection, as a condom will also prevent pregnancy and the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections,” Johnson said.
Caption: Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, Minister of Health and Social Services.