“A recent report by South Africa’s Commission for Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities calculated that in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces alone at least 419 boys have died since 2008, and more than 456,000 initiatives have been hospitalized with complications.” The Guardian, 2014

Traditional male circumcision is regarded as a sacred, indispensable cultural rite of passage to many young South Africans. Each year, thousands undergo circumcision as part of their initiation into manhood. Tragically, after circumcision, many require treatment for complications such as septicemia, gangrene, severe dehydration and genital mutilation.

In 2019, OHH, in association with Advanced Health Day Hospitals, started an initiative that provides an alternative to traditional circumcision, to boys needing the procedure as part of their heritage and culture. A simple circumcision may seem like a small operation. Still, it truly makes a lasting impact on the young lives of patients who can now be proud of their traditions while being sure of their safety.

In 2020, our Circumcision Project kicked off with 8 boys being operated on, on 16 and 24 March respectively. Not only were their circumcisions performed by a medical professional, but Keoagile Masilo, Refentse Segwati, Ntwelo Mbasa, Thokozani Angali, Junior Angali, Mohau Thulare, Mpilo Thulare & Bokang Thulare – all between the ages of 5 and 11 – were all treated like princes at Advanced Health Day Hospital in Groenkloof.

OHH added a second layer to our Circumcision Project this year by offering free pap smear tests to the mothers of the boys undergoing circumcision, as well as other women from their communities. 12 ladies were tested during this drive to promote women’s health.

In a time where the focus has fallen on the health and hygiene of the less fortunate in South Africa, OHH is grateful to be playing a part in educating people as well as providing medical services to those most in need.

Article by Magriet Stander


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