Emmanuel Nizeyimana decided to live the circumcision messages he had been receiving from campaigns on medical male circumcision.
The 25-year-old from Gahunga Sector in Burera District, who has been married for four years, said mobilisation campaigns in his home area convinced him to make up his mind.
“I got to know that getting circumcised can reduce chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and promotes hygiene. Although I have a partner, it is better to follow the advice,” Nizeyimana said.
He was circumcised with a dozen others at Gahunga Health Centre in Burera.
“Whenever I discussed circumcision with my wife, she encouraged me to get circumcised,” Nizeyimana said, adding that his creed had made him believe that circumcision was a religious ritual for Muslims.
“I didn’t get chance to be circumcised when I was young because I thought this was a religious obligation. When I got married and my wife advised me to get circumcised, I could not because getting the service from Ruhengeri Hospital required money then,” he said.
Nizeyimana said the free medical male circumcision in the country is a great opportunity for those who are not financially well-off.
At least 3,000 men have been circumcised in the past three months in Burera District.
The mass circumcision drive was organised by the Ministry of Health, in partnership with Rwanda Defence Forces and Jhpiego.
Jhpiego is an international non-profit health organisation affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, a private research varsity in Maryland, US.
Jhpiego was founded in 1973 as the Johns Hopkins Programme for International Education in Gynaecology and Obstetrics.
The government hopes to have at least 700,000 males between the ages of 15 and 49 across the country circumcised by the end of 2016 using both surgical and non-surgical system (PrePex).
François Xavier Urimubenshi, the director of Gahunga Health Centre, cautioned the circumcised men against promiscuity, saying circumcision is not 100 per cent effective in preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
Medics say circumcision has health benefits, including reducing risks of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases.
Circumcision also protects against penile cancer.