The question on whether or not male circumcision can reduce the chances of contracting HIV has stired a great debate among Health practioners, attending the the HIV/AIDS implementers meeting in Kampala.
President Yoweri Museveni has openly criticized the advocates of circumcision as a preventive measure against the HIV virus.
During the official opening of the HIV and AIDS implementers meeting in Munyonyo, President wondered why there is a high prevalence rate among the Ugandan communities where circumcision is a traditional ritual.
The president's doubts have left Ugandan researchers on circumcision grumbling quietly for fear of being reprimanded.
But Phiri Mannasseh, a doctor from Zambia, says a study carried out in Zambia among the communities that practice circumcision, shows low HIV prevalence. He however maintains that circumcision does not provide 100% protection against infection.
African Countries are quickly stepping up campaigns to promote circumcision as one of the ways of reducing the infection of HIV.
The campaigns are being backed by the World Health Organization.
Kim Dickson, an official from the WHO says Countries must start scaling up male circumcision in order to realize the desired results. WHO is supporting the development of mail circumcision training reference centers in Zambia, Uganda and Kenya.
Dickson says WHO together with UNAIDS are developing operational guidelines aimed at promoting and expanding male circumcision as a method of HIV prevention.
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But the safety of surgical procedures during male circumcision is a subject of debate at the ongoing HIV/AIDS implementers meeting in Kampala.
Dr. Phiri Mannasseh who works with Society for Family Life in Zambia says his organization has devised means of ensuring the safety of clients and also promoting messages on HIV/AIDS.
Dr Phiri has done this by developing software through which he is able to send text messages to the mobile phones of clients. Dr. Mannasseh explains that the messages remind the clients against indulging in unprotected sex before their wounds heal, because this makes them susceptible to infection.
The messages also remind clients on the steps to take in case they develop complications.
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But the debate is on whether or not traditional providers should be allowed to continue carrying out surgical procedures, as has been the case for several decades. WHO is openly opposed to the incorporation of traditional providers in the circumcision campaign.