The 17th of February is going down as one of the most important days in South Africa’s health calendar. This day marked the first community dialogues on Male Medical Circumcision (MMC) at Zola Clinic, Gauteng. The MMC dialogue was the first of its kind in South Africa.
The MMC dialogue was initiated by Brothers For Life (BFL) with the purpose of creating community awareness on MMC, the medical benefits of MMC and the promotion of the services offered by MMC sites, such as the one located at Zola Clinic. The event created a platform for community members and health officials to debate issues of MMC and was attended by delegates from USAID, Department of Health District Office, JHHESA, HIVSA, ANOVA Health Institute, Zola Clinic, CHAPS, Sonke Gender Justice and over 200 crowd of community members all participating in the ground breaking dialogue. Furthermore, 55 participants were counselled and tested for HIV, and 75 men underwent the MMC procedure.
The dialogue kicked off with a short drama on MMC performed by a trio from DrumAide, which served to set the tone of the day.
The community dialogue covered various topics on MMC particularly clarifying myths and misconception of MMC. The key areas discussed were the actual procedure, average healing time and the health benefits of the procedure both to men and women including decreasing HIV infection.
The programme also included testimonials by men who had recently undergone the MMC procedure. The men shared how they got to know about the services, how the process was and the support they received before, during and after the procedure from the health centre, their families and their sexual partners. The community members had an opportunity to ask the men some questions on the procedure, the safety of the procedure and the health of the penis post the procedure.
The event culminated in the debut screening of the new MMC – YouTube television advert. People who attended the event were the lucky few who had an opportunity to see the advert before it was screened to millions of homes across the country that same evening.
To get free medical male circumcision, sms MMC to 43740 for a clinic near you. THE TIME IS NOW.