Health CS Sicily Kariuki rejects HIV incomplete research documents. PHOTO | BANA
Health CS Sicily Kariuki rejects HIV incomplete research documents. PHOTO | BANA

Ministry of Health CS Sicily Kariuki in partnership with counties health officials and US embassy will from Monday  29th July 2019 begin screening men to identify if they are circumcised in four counties of the Nyanza Region.


The Ministry of Health boss said the study, which is conducted by the Voluntary Male Circumcision Association (VMMC), aims to intensify the fight against HIV infection in those counties. 

The survey also aims to identify the number of circumcised men in Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya and Migori counties after being launched in Homa Bay at an event attended by Chief Health Officer Gerald Akeche and department head Gordon Okomo on Sunday. During the three-month examination, trained staff will personally evaluate a man's penis if the interviewee agrees or refuses to answer the question of whether he has been circumcised.

However, social norms and customs may prevent some men from questioning whether they are circumcised or not. 

"If a man refuses to look at his penis, our officers will not force him but will only embrace his answer," said Dr Akeche. 

VMMC services were first offered in Nyanza area in 2008 before extending the service to other parts of the country. Its role was to help curb the spread of HIV in the Nyanza region which has been registering more than 20 per cent of infections. Studies show circumcision reduces HIV infection by 60%.

According to Dr Akeche, the study on Men circumcision has been funded by the US government and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and will help determine if more resources will be invested in fighting AIDS in the country.

“When VMMC initiated the circumcision program, the HIV prevalence rate began to decline as well as the number of men who came for circumcision. This study will help determine if there are still uncircumcised men, ”he added.

"Men between the ages of 19 and 29 have been to their clinics for circumcision. Older men who are also at risk of contracting HIV have been avoiding circumcision. This will be an opportunity to get to know their population and to persuade them to embrace a pearl knife, ”he said.

Dr Okomo also said the results of the survey would help to estimate the budget for the fight against AIDS in the Nyanza region especially in Homa Bay County which leads to the list of infections in Kenya by 26 per cent.

" The other counties which we will target later includes S. Rift Counties, Coast Region and Vihiga, Kakamega (Western Region). This is because they have increased the number of HIV infection from 2016-2018." Dr Deche Added.

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