GISENYI HOSPITAL has kicked off a free and voluntary male circumcision exercise targeting hundreds of residents of Rubavu District.
About 150 people underwent the non-surgical operation on the first day of the exercise on Thursday.
Jean Bosco Mupenzi, a worker at the hospital’s surgical department, told The New Times on Friday that the hospital is using PrePex, a non-surgical system recently rolled out by the government.
“We have received many people, especially the youth. We expect the numbers to increase in the coming days,” he said.
Dr Wiliam Kanyankore, the Director of the hospital, said the exercise was part of a government initiative aimed at mass male circumcision as one of way of combating the spread of HIV/Aids.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60 percent.
Desire Kayitare, 17, a resident of Gisenyi sector, said he was happy to be circumcised for free and using a new method that is not painful.
Dr Kanyankore said the hospital is committed to circumcise all who seek the service.
“We have the necessary materials and we encourage all males to come,” he said.
The PrePex device has three parts; the first is the rigid inner ring that is applied inside the foreskin while the elastic ring is applied on top of the foreskin to cut off the blood flow to the foreskin. The third item is used to cover the forehead of the penis as protection against infection.
When blood supply to the foreskin is cut off, it dies and falls off after four to five days—effectively leaving a man circumcised.
Qualified by WHO last year, PrePex was rolled out by the Ministry of Health in September last year and it is targeting to circumcise about 700,000 men by 2016, according to the officials.