Mak Students Shun Free Male Circumcision

Written by: 
Aguti Moureen


Makerere University students have shunned free male circumcision, a service being offered at the ongoing Health Week at the Freedom Square. Free circumcision was done by the Infectious Disease Institute in an enclosed tent using circumcision blades.

But male students journalism@mak talked to say they could not be circumcised because it is not private.

"I cannot be circumcised from such an open place; if it was private maybe I would have gone for it," commented Abraham Lukwago, a Journalism student.

This comment was supported by another student, Maurice Okirya, pursuing a Bachelors degree in Law who said he prefers hospitals. "I would rather go to a hospital and get circumcised from there because normally free things are not free,” says Okirya.

Okirya further said there is specialized care in hospitals than the care that would be given at the guild medical camp.

"I fear getting out of the room when everyone is seeing me; they would get to know that all this long I have not been circumcised,” said a student of Bachelor of Film who preferred anonymity.

Counsellor Nampiima Lilian from Infectious Disease Institute said they only received four students for circumcision, and seven non-students.

"We are a bit disappointed.  Since this program is majorly for students, we expected a good number of them given the fact that sensitization about circumcision has been done frequently and effectively, and that is why we are disappointed about the turn up," Nampiima noted.

"I strongly attribute this to shyness and fear of being seen by their peers that students are not turning up," she added.

About privacy and safety, Nampiima says circumcision is safe and private because the tent is properly enclosed making it private enough for one to feel comfortable. She also made an assurance about safety, saying the doctors are trained and the organization does a follow-up with their clients.

Among the students who made use of the service was Daudi Kibalama from College of Business and Management Science.  He told us he was happy with the service received at the Health Week.

"I am happy because it has been successful and not painful at all, the doctors are friendly and they take their time,” he said.

Another student, Sadik Sserunkuuma says his health matters and he would not miss such a chance to be circumcised at no cost.

This was one of the services at the Health Week organized by the 84th Guild Health Ministry in partnership with eleven service providers including The Infectious Disease Institute, Makerere University Hospital,  Marie Stopes Uganda Limited, MED-Optics Vision, ABII clinic, Health Shuya Uganda, Agawarl's Eye Hospital, Makerere Joint AIDS program, among others.