Male circumcision reduces HIV transmission, spread of urinary tract infection- Expert

Male circumcision reduces HIV transmission, spread of urinary tract infection- Expert

A Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr. Bright Airhumwunde has called on parents to embrace early male circumcision, noting that it has less complication than when done in adolescence or adulthood

He also said male circumcision is known to reduce HIV transmission and prevents the spread of urinary tract infection.

Dr. Airhumwunde disclosed this during an interview with PUNCH HealthWise,

Over the years, there have been arguments on if male circumcision should be stopped or be deferred until the age of sexual consent to allow the individual involved to be able to report onset of pain and early signs of complications.

Reacting to this, Dr. Airhumwunde said early male circumcision should continue, adding that deferring or delaying the procedure has no medical advantage.

He said,” Male circumcision should continue. It has more advantages than disadvantages. It is known to reduce HIV transmission. Basically, it is not all that bad.

“It is done for hygiene purposes and it prevents the spread of urinary tract infection. So, when people are calling for an end to it, it is more of a cultural thing. I am not so certain that it is for medical reasons.

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“The argument on whether to delay or defer male circumcision looks more like a human rights matter. So, all of these things are non-medical. Medicine does not feature in any of the discussions on male circumcision.”

The gynaecologist said the use of modern devices like plastibell has reduced complications that could arise from early male circumcision.

“Complication rate in early male circumcision is very low if performed by qualified medical professionals. It is like ear piercing for women.

“In places where male circumcision is done properly, pain relief is actually given to babies before the procedure is carried out.

“Although male circumcision is more cultural than medical, we don’t have enough evidence to work against early male circumcision”, he said.

For female circumcision, the maternal health expert noted that there are lots of documented evidences against the procedure, unlike male circumcision, adding, “But for female circumcision, medicine has come to feature. We have seen the disadvantages well documented in the public space.

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“Male circumcision is not the same thing as female circumcision. Instead, there are more advantages in carrying out male circumcision.

“Early male circumcision is better because the infant doesn’t really know and the tissues are still very tender. It is even in adulthood that there are more pains and complications.

“In adults, you talk about pain management and other issues. So, early circumcision is easier than late circumcision.”

Dr. Airhumwunde reiterated the need for parents to ensure that their male children are circumcised by qualified professionals to avoid complications.

According to the World Health Organisation, serious complications among neonates or young boys are rare when the procedure is carried out by experienced providers.

“Several studies stressed the need for comprehensive training of circumcision providers, as complications were more common when the procedure was undertaken by inexperienced or poorly trained providers, or by those with inadequate equipment or supplies.

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“Circumcision occurs at a wide range of ages, and neonatal and child male circumcision is routinely practised in many countries for religious and cultural reasons.

“There are several advantages of circumcising males at a younger versus older age, including a lower risk of complications, faster healing and a lower cost.

“However, some parents may wish to wait for an older age for religious or cultural reasons, or have a preference to wait until the child can give consent for the procedure,” the WHO stated.







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