Bhekisisa on the cutting edge in Mpumalanga

“I learned about a simple and safe method of male circumcision. This is very important because the traditional method is very painful. I speak from experience,” said Sfiso Mahlangu, Radio Greater Middleburg. 

He was one of 13 journalists from community radio stations and newspapers in Mpumalanga, who attended a media training of the M&G’s health journalism centre, Bhekisisa, this week. Reporters learned about one of the latest developments in medical male circumcision in South Africa: the PrePex device.

With PrePex, medical male circumcision avoids anaesthetics, cutting, stitches and bleeding.  Prequalified as safe and effective by the World Health Organisation, and already adopted by Rwanda, PrePex was tried by 318 men in eMalahleni and Johannesburg, in a study conducted by the Perinatal HIV Research Unit of the University of the Witwatersrand.

Studies have shown that medical male circumcision – the complete removal of the foreskin’s penis – can reduce a heterosexual man’s chances of contracting HIV by 60% through sex.  According to Cecilia Mohlala, at Ziwaphi newspaper in Nelspruit, “PrePex will make for an interesting story and good debate” to her readers.

Lisa Matsie from Bushbuckridge radio said the workshop was “very useful and I can’t wait to start with my programmes on it”. 


Roll out PrePex nationwide 
The health department plans to roll out PrePex nationwide after two larger studies are completed by mid-2015, according to Dayanund Loykisoonlal, the programme manager for medical male circumcision at the National Department of Health, and one of the presenters at the briefing.

Other presenters included Dr Dirk Taljaard, of the Centre for HIV and Aids Prevention Studies and lead researcher at the ground-breaking Orange Farm trials that confirmed that medical male circumcision reduces HIV transmission. 

Dr Limakatso Lebina, of Chris Hani Baragwanath’s perinatal HIV Research Unit, who conducted the PrePex studies, shared the findings. Of the 318 men who tried PrePex, seven out of 10 felt no pain during its placement, and eight out of 10 support its introduction in South Africa. Bhekisisa organised the briefing in collaboration with the  Community Media Trust, with funding from the Centres for Disease Control.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Mercedes Sayagues
Mercedes Sayagues works from Pretoria, South Africa. Journalist, editor, media trainer Mercedes Sayagues has over 121 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

Eskom’s emissions are not compatible with the South African constitution

The government must not cave to Eskom’s demand that it be exempt from air pollution rules. Furthermore, the power utility needs to stay true to the principles of its own just transition strategy

Journalists have to be seekers of truth, not activists

Many feel the urge to offer direction in a world that seems to be spiralling out of control faster every day

Top cop’s state-funded luxury cars

Mpumalanga police commissioner Mondli Zuma has allegedly flouted regulations to purchase a flashy fleet.

Female cops sent for rape counselling

Brigadier Sifiso Cele denies the rape allegations, saying that they are part of a smear campaign and that criminal charges should have been opened if the accusations were true

Load-shedding’s silver lining: Lower levels of sulphur dioxide air pollution

Analysis of Nasa data shows that although SO₂ emissions around the world have fallen by about 6%, the levels are high enough to harm the health of billions of people.

Farmers and politician at odds over proposed R7.8-bn city

A Mpumalanga MEC and his close business associate have pushed for the development of a new city, but a local farmers’ association is fighting back
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Limpopo big-game farmer accused of constant harassment

A family’s struggle against alleged intimidation and failure to act by the authorities mirrors the daily challenges farm dwellers face

Did Botswana execute ‘poachers’ ?

The Botswana Defence Force’s anti-poaching unit has long been accused of a ‘shoot to kill’ policy. Over 20 years the unit has killed 30 Namibians and 22 Zimbabweans

Zondo tightens his grip with criminal complaint against Zuma

The state capture commission’s star witness now faces a criminal complaint and another summons

Sharp sting of the Green Scorpions

Crime busters secure a 97% conviction rate and register more criminal dockets for range of crimes
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…