More than 100,000 men in Mozambique are to be circumcised in a bid to help prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/Aids.
The health authorities in the central province of Zambezia say their campaign will focus on districts of Ato-Molocue, Ile and Gurue, where circumcision is not a common practice.
This is the second phase of a project that kicked off last year with the circumcision of 84,000 men in the province.
Abdul Razak, a medical doctor by profession and governor of Zambezia – one of Mozambique’s most populated provinces – is backing the campaign:
“What I want to underline is that male circumcision and other measures are used to prevent diseases, such as HIV/Aids. They don’t cure the patient.”
It is voluntary, but men are being encouraged to undergo the surgery because of the difference it makes in preventing HIV infection.
The cost of the two rounds of circumcisions in Zambezia province will come to more than $1m (£728,000), funds provided by the US initiative President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar).
Male circumcision is common in many other places in Mozambique, including the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Tete and Inhambane.
According to the World Health Organization, male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexual men getting HIV by approximately 60%.