Zimbabwe: I-TECH Launches Circumcision Program

I-TECH Zimbabwe’s male circumcision program was inaugurated this month by our local partner, the Zimbabwe Association of Church-Related Hospitals (ZACH), with completion of 16 surgeries at the Tshelanyemba Mission Hospital in Gwanda District in the Southern Province.

Tshelanyemba Hospital

“Today is a milestone for our male circumcision program in Zimbabwe,” said Esther Machakaire, CDC-Zimbabwe Biomedical HIV Prevention Advisor who is providing technical assistance to I-TECH and ZACH to implement male circumcision services.  “We expect the numbers to keep growing. I am confident that together we will make the I-TECH/ZACH/CDC male circumcision program a huge success!”

Male circumcision performed by well-trained medical professionals is an evidenced-based public health intervention to reduce the risk of men acquiring HIV/AIDs through female-to-male transmission. Scale up of male circumcision services is an important part of the combination prevention strategy developed by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare (MOHCW) to decrease HIV incidence among adults.

The I-TECH/ZACH male circumcision program is supported by CDC and MOHCW, and has plans to rapidly scale up services at 10 sites in 10 of Zimbabwe’s 62 districts, with the goal of conducting 16,000 surgeries by September 2013. It follows the model of similar safe male circumcision programs that have been implemented by I-TECH in Botswana and Malawi. The program includes assessment of site readiness to implement services, training of medical professionals in safe circumcision, procurement of medical supplies and equipment, close monitoring of quality control and quality assurance, and community outreach for demand creation.