South Africa urges circumcision to curb sexual diseases

July 28th, 2011 - 11:33 am ICT by IANS  

Pretoria, July 28 (IANS) A top South African health official has emphasised the importance of circumcision to curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV, the official BuaNews agency reported.

Ntombi Mekgwe, member of the Executive Council for Health and Social Development, has asked local tribal leaders and health professionals to work together to ensure safer circumcision of young men.

A group of 30 boys became the first in the country to undergo traditional circumcision under the guidance of the department of health.

She urged the boys to respect themselves and women.

“Your behaviour within your families and your community will set you apart from ‘boys’. How you relate to and treat women will indeed confirm that you are worthy of being called men,” Mekgwe said.

“Respect for all age groups is what you have been taught. This includes continuing to respect your elders, whether they are your biological parents or not,” she said.

More than 14,500 male circumcisions were performed in Gauteng province last year. The department aims to provide the service to about 100,000 by March 2012.

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