Acceptability of medical male circumcision among traidtionally non circumcising tribes attending health care services in Makambako hospital, Njombe, Tanzania.
Background: Male circumcision (MC) can reduce men’s risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS for at least 50% or even as high as 66%. With this regard, WHO and UNAIDS urge international community to scaled-up MC among uncircumcised men especially in HIV hard hit regions. Residents of Makambako mainly the Bena Kinga do not have a circumcision custom.
Objectives: This study examined acceptability of MC among traditionally non-circumcising males accessing health care in Makambako Hospital, Njombe Region, Tanzania.
Methods: This was a quantitative descriptive cross-sectional study. Some 118 uncircumcised males were randomly selected to participate. In addition, 9 health care workers (HCW) and 8 community members were purposively recruited to participate in a qualitative survey. Kiswahili semi-structured questionnaires were administered to the uncircumcised males, and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were held with both HCWs and Community members.
Results: About 70 % uncircumcised males indicated that MC is acceptable, while 97% understand the health importance of MC, signifying that MC is gradually gaining acceptance in the study population. Majority (84%) preferred medical circumcisers over traditional ones due to safety procedure. Data from FGD revealed readiness to undergo
MC, and both HCW and Community members urged for reduced costs for such services. Recommendations: For sustainability of MC scaling–up, health education should be a permanent agenda to reach the uncircumcised individuals in Njombe District.
KEY WORDS: Acceptability, sexually transmitted diseases, male circumcision scale-up