Society / Health & Science
Monday, 11 Jul 2016 13:24 EATswaithera@kenyafreepress.com
The Ministry of Health and the National AIDS and STI Programme (NASCOP) has launched the PrePex (a non-surgical medical device for male circumcision) device which they say will address some of the barriers faced during the traditional rite of passage. The device is said to have very low and mild side effects with medics stating that it is bloodless, faster and easier.
NASCOP Head, Martin Sirengo, said the device will offer men, especially those in non-circumcising communities, an alternative to surgical circumcision. Sirengo said that their studies have shown that the PrePex male circumcision device meets the safety threshold used internationally for such devices to pave way for its use in Kenya.
The device will now be adopted in the voluntary medical male circumcision programme (VMMC) which was launched in 2008 as part of the intensified HIV prevention by the Ministry of Health. The device, which has been under study in four counties, is said to have gained about 70 percent acceptability among the 2,000 participants involved.
Compared to conventional surgical circumcision, health stakeholders say the PrePex device does not use surgical blades and there is no need for stitching of the foreskin thus reducing any adverse complications. The device which has been pre-qualified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be rolled out nationally for voluntary male circumcision of those aged 13 years and above in 10 priority counties, which include Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Turkana, Kericho, West Pokot, Mombasa and Nairobi.
The use of Prepex has been scientifically validated to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV infection through heterosexual intercourse.
Waithera is a staff writer at the Kenya Free Press.