The South African Nursing Council (SANC) has finally given the Mpumalanga Department of Health permission to allow professional nurses to perform Medical Male Circumcision under the supervision of a medical doctor.
This is a major breakthrough for the campaign which has set as a target the circumcision of 500 000 men by the end of March next year.
Sister Marciaous Simelani from Carolina Hospital comments: “I am one of the nurses who are trained to perform medical circumcision. I am competent now. We must deliver. Yes, the target of 500 000 is huge but working together as a team we will reach a successful outcome at the end. I am looking forward to this challenge.”
Mpumalanga has a serious shortage of doctors able to perform this procedure making the task shifting decision a major boost for the province’s programme.
It is also hoped that other provinces will be able to learn from Mpumalanga.
In May, 28 boys died at a circumcision schools in Mpumalanga. There were also circumcision-related deaths in other provinces.
Elizabeth Magagula, is a community member who strongly believes in traditional circumcision and her plan is to send her two young grandsons to the circumcision schools next winter. “I’m happy that more nurses have been trained, but what about traditional healers? Why were they not included in the training? The province has not yet solved the problem as more and more traditional circumcisions are conducted without any supervision whatsoever. Traditional healers need to be trained so that we will no longer face challenges of negligence or unnecessary deaths in our traditional circumcision schools.”