SURGICAL students at University of Rwanda have launched an HIV prevention mobilisation week through voluntary medical male ircumcision.
The launch took place on Saturday in Rusororo Sector in Gasabo District as part of the students’ workshop on surgical and non surgical circumcision and practice.
The weeklong drive was organised by UR Surgical Students’ Association in collaboration with Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Rwanda Military Hospital, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and JHPIEGO, Partners in Health IH and Masaka Hospital to reduce the risk of the community contracting HIV/AIDS.
The awareness campaign features HIV/AIDS prevention and voluntary testing and counselling with the target to break myths concerning the procedures.
Sister Catherine, the head of Kabuga Health Centre, hailed the students’ initiative, calling on residents to embrace circumcision.
“Prevention is better than cure; HIV has no cure, so I hope the initiative will help beneficiaries embrace male surgical circumcision to reduce HIV risks,” she said.
The World Health Organisation indicates that HIV/AIDS is more prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, while Rwanda is among constituent countries where the youth are more affected than any other age group.
Circumcision protects up to 60 per cent in case of unprotected sex, Charles Berabose, the director of outreach, events and mentorship at University of Rwanda Surgical Students Society and coordinator, said.
“We need to make our contribution to a healthy and HIV/AIDS free community, especially the youth, to reduce their risk of contracting HIV virus through public awareness on circumcision, which we believe can play a big impact in slowing down the disease,” he said.
The campaign is part of preparation for the upcoming free circumcision exercise scheduled between July 2 and 10 at Kabuga Health Centre.
The University of Rwanda Surgical Students’ Society targets to circumcise at least 600 people during the week.