LÜDERITZ - Diaz Primary School in Lüderitz received the first ever gold certificate on male circumcision saturations, because the school reached the circumcision rate of 87 percent for boys who have had their ‘smart cut’ under a new health programme to reduce HIV infections.
The gold certificate was handed over by the senior registered nurse Sibusisiwe Ncube and Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) demand creation coordinator Harold Kandjii.
Life skills teacher at Diaz Primary School, Clara Boer, received the accolade last Friday.
Based on the research conducted, there is strong evidence that male circumcision can provide protection from HIV transmission of up to 60 percent among heterosexual men. The Ministry of Health and Social Services has adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to add male circumcision to the existing HIV prevention measures.
Namibia has since adopted this recommendation under the Ministry of Health and Social Services. Lüderitz District started with the implementation of the programme in November 2017 with technical support to the ministry by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) through I-Tech Namibia.
As part of its strategy to increase uptake of VMMC services among schools, the health ministry with I-Tech Namibia has created a system of awarding schools with certificates of appreciation for high VMMC saturations.
According to Kandjii, so far assessments undertaken on male pupils at Diaz Primary indicated the circumcision rate that was reached is an impressive 87 percent.
It is on this basis the school was awarded the first ever gold certificate for reaching this milestone –the first time an educational institution has attained this in the entire //Kharas Region.
Kandjii said their target for their year from October 2017 to September 2018 was to circumcise 2 717 boys, in Lüderitz District, but they managed to circumcise 1 536 of whom 150 of the beneficiaries are boys are from Diaz Primary School.
He thanked the parents willing to bring their children for circumcision and he encouraged other parents to bring their children for circumcision that is being performed at the Lüderitz State Hospital from Mondays to Fridays and there are also monthly visits to health centres at Rosh Pinah and Oranjemund.