Over R2 million for Eastern Cape circumcision program

JUNE 8, 2015

The Eastern Cape Department of Health is injecting more than R2 million into the province's circumcision program ahead of this winter's initiation season. The funding is expected to ensure that all initiates survive.

Last year, 36 initiates died in the province last winter and that figure dropped to 28 during the summer season.

Government says it is serious about preventing initiate deaths and the national Department of Health has budgeted R40 million during this financial year. The department is also working with the University Research Company to train traditional surgeons on safer procedures.

In the Eastern Cape, the main focus will be on the O.R. Tambo region, which recorded the highest number of illegal initiations last season. Thirty five vehicles are being roped in this season.

''It is vastly rural and has got very bad terrain and the second reason is that they had more deaths than any other district in the past season and that they have more illegal or unqualified surgeons," says Eastern Cape Health MEC, Dr Pumza Dyantyi.

Although dehydration is still a concern, botched circumcisions and assault were the main causes of death last season. Extra measures will be taken to ensure the safety of initiates.

 

----additional reporting SABC