…’Of all problems Malawi is facing, they think Male circumcision is top priority?’
Malawians have questioned the motives of the US and other Western NGOs that are promoting circumcision despite evidence showing that the questionable initiative does not reduce HIV as claimed. Vetting their anger and frustrations on social media, the people took to task the US for “prioritizing sex” and not real development.
The US announced a $6.8 million (K3.8 billion) aid to support male circumcision which the US Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, said has “has potential” to curb the spread of HIV.
But all the comments that Malawi24 monitored on a story published by one of the local online publications expressed dismay at the focus of the aid, with many hinting that circumcision is not an effective means to fighting the spread of HIV.
Athoko Chisale Mbewe wrote “American government is a joke. Chinese are giving money for development and all this ambassador cares about is sex? Hahaha…. if you want my foreskin I will trade it for K500,000.00. FYI My uncle has HIV /aids but he is circumsized”
While approving Athoko’s comment, Emmanuel Samikwa said that evidence from the Eastern region of the country back studies which question the credibility of circumcision to reduce HIV. Circumcision is common in the region, particularly among the Yao people, with people being circumcised during childhood.
“#athoko u mean wina wake apa akuti sungatenge aids if circumsiced? akunama ameneyo ena awa ali apawa achiyawo amasewelera ndi mahule lero angoondo nkhuku chidyerecho!” reasoned Emmanuel Franjie Kapito Samikwa.
Most commentators made comparison between the support that the US and China are providing Malawi. The people called on the US to support initiatives that would savage Malawi’s ailing economy.
“$6.8M for what?? Of all problems Malawi is facing, they think Male circumcision is top priority??. Why cant they learn from their Chinese counterparts?? This is laughable” posed Joseph Mutupha.
Jonathan Pierre Ng’oma also urged the US to reflect on the priorities of its aid: “Come on, do we need money for such useless exercise? Our economy is in total shamble, will that going to help our economy?”
Like others before him, Abram Nkasala commented by questioning the logic of the US to support circumcision which he observed is encouraging more people to engage in sex after circumcision, putting them at higher risk of infection.
“Malawi needs food not jando this is encouraging AIDS because people are not caring after circumsion.People in Nsanje, Zomba are dying now”.
Malawi24 previously revealed that there is not conclusive evidence to support claims that male circumcision reduce HIV infection. The Malawi Demographic and Health Survey, a study conducted in 2010 by country’s National Statics Office, also found that circumcised males were likely to get HIV in Malawi.
Another recent report also revealed that the HIV prevalence rate had doubled in Thyolo, one of the areas where medical circumcision was first rolled out in the country.