The Ministry of Health aims at having 800,000 men circumcised by the year 2016 using PrePex, a non-surgical adult male circumcision device.
PrePex was designed to help scale-up Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) programmes for HIV/AIDS prevention
Nathan Mugume the head of communications at Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) said the reduction in the cost of the device would be vital in increasing circumcision rates.
“The cost used to be US$ 20, but it has now been reduced to US$12. This will help us reach more people and hit our target of 800,000 by the end of 2016,” Mugume said.
Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, head of HIV, STI and other blood borne Infections at RBC, said the national target was to reduce new infections by six per cent by 2018 and male circumcision was one of the strategies to help achieve it.
“The demand for circumcision actually is very high, especially among youth aged between 18 and 24. Accessibility has also increased overtime since many health providers have been trained and given equipment to carry out professional circumcision.”
“Circumcision has 60 per cent probability to prevent a person from contracting HIV. Today we have half a million people circumcised under the campaign and in ten year’s period, we have seen a reduction of infections by half,” added.
The service was offered to fourteen priority countries identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Eddy Horowitz, the Chief Executive Officer of Circ MedTech’s, the developer and manufacturer of PrePex said, “We are proud to demonstrate our commitment toward an AIDS-free generation together with our partners in the HIV/AIDS prevention field. Through this initiative, we can prevent transmission of diseases, reduce costs to public health systems and save countless lives”.
“PrePex provides an easier, more convenient and cost-effective way of conducting male circumcision. With our introduction of the non-surgical device for infants and children, PrePex will improve the male circumcision experience for men, boys and infants worldwide.” Horowitz added.
While male circumcission does not make a man bullet proof for HIV/AIDs transmission, research shows that it reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection by 60 per cent.