An education campaign about Medical Male Circumcision is launched in the Eden District

The South African Clothing and Textile Worker Union’s Worker Health Programme (SWHP) Clever Dick Campaign was launched in partnership with the Eden District Department of Health (DoH) in D’Almeida on Thursday 09 October 2014. The initiative educates men and women about the advantages of Medical Male Circumcision (MMC).

Enrico Pieterse was more than ready to have the procedure done by Dr Gary Small.
Enrico Pieterse was more than ready to have the procedure done by Dr Gary Small.

Activities on the day included an outside broadcast by local radio station, Eden FM, a “Mossel Bay’s Got Talent” competition and opportunities for men to sign up for, and undergo, surgical circumcision on-site.

“70 voluntary circumcisions were carried out by members of our team and DoH staff in our mobile medical theatre,” said SWHP Managing Director, Jonathan Cockburn. “One of the challenges we face is reaching men in communities where there are limited medical facilities. We recently commissioned our mobile theatres to enable us to conduct voluntary MMC in a safe, hygienic and controlled environment in any setting.”

Males who are older than fifteen and sexually active are encouraged to consider surgical circumcision. For volunteers who sign up through the Clever Dick Campaign, the procedure – that is conducted under local anesthetic and lasts about 30 minutes – and counselling are free. The benefits include a reduced rate of transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and a lesser risk of the contraction of penile cancer in men and cervical cancer in women.

Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, said: “We offer and promote medical male circumcision, and I would like to thank everyone involved in this campaign for their enthusiasm and compassion. The important thing is that individuals are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their health, and the health of their loved ones.”

To find out more about the Clever Dick Campaign visit www.cleverdick.mobi or call or send a “Please Call Me” to 06 07 01 01 01.

For more information about MMC facilities in the Eden District contact Sandra Johnson or Nadia Pieterse on 044 803 2700.

About the SACTWU Worker Health Program (SWHP):

SACTWU Worker Health Program (SWHP) is a NGO supporting SA National Department of Health in the prevention; treatment; care and support of HIV/AIDS; TB and STIs. SWHP has a comprehensive program providing the full continuum of care including education and awareness; HCT; wellness; ARV and TB treatment, STI screening and testing and palliative care.

More recently, SWHP was awarded PEPFAR funding (2012 – 2016), to support NDOH with the roll out and implementation of their Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) program. Roll out was initiated in July 2011 in KZN and to date SWHP has conducted over 180 000 medical circumcisions, targeting HIV negative, uncircumcised men between the ages of 15 and 49. Currently, SWHP is one of the largest PEPFAR funded circumcision partners in South Africa.

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