As part of our continuing Fathers Day series this week, we share another story about Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) which also falls under PS Kenya’s Health mandate in ensuring the improvement of healthcare services towards every Kenyan. The article gives a detailed description of what the VMMC programme entails and the experience through the eyes of a beneficiary.
Lets Dig In…
EMBRACING VOLUNTARY MEDICAL MALE CIRCUMCISION (VMMC)
36-year-old Erick Okoth Otieno, a teacher by profession at Aoch Muga Primary School Special Unit, resides in Kajulu Sub location, Sinema village and is married with three boys aged between 1 and 10 years.
When Eric heard about free Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) services being offered in public health facilities, he did not bother to seek the services since most of the facilities around him were crowded with young boys whom according to him were influenced by peer pressure to get circumcised. “I thought that the services were not meant for adults like me,” said Erick.
Voluntary medical male circumcision was rolled out in the community after a scientific study showed it reduces HIV prevalence by 60% in heterosexuals and also helps in the reduction of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in uncircumcised men and by extension their female counter parts who also benefit in the reduction of cervical cancer cases as a result.
One day as Erick was conducting his usual duties, he met a VMMC mobiliser who talked to him about the services offered at a small fee at Johpas Medical Clinic, a private clinic which is a member of the Tunza Family Health Network. He then decided to seek more information about the services offered at the clinic where he found a very friendly and knowledgeable service provider. Erick was worried about the pain of undergoing VMMC and the healing duration, which were well addressed by the service provider.
The services are offered as a package that targets HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) screening/treatment and male sexual reproductive health including gender based violence.
Erick decided to book a date for the surgery in a week’s time to allow him to close school and go through the procedure during the holidays. His wife who is also a teacher usually attends trainings during the holiday and Erick thought that this would be an advantage to his healing process since he had not discussed with the wife.
When his wife returned from the training and found out that Erick had undergone a successful circumcision and was almost healed, she congratulated him and even supported his healing process. Erick’s wife had received information on the benefits of VMMC but feared sharing the same with her husband as it would have generated a heated debate and she was afraid that her husband would think that she perceived him to be promiscuous.
Since then, Erick and his wife communicate very freely in the family and even encourage other couples to communicate freely in solving their problems. Erick appreciates the services he got at Johpas Medical Clinic which is part of the Tunza Franchise Network that offers integrated health services. The clinic provider was recently trained on the new technique (Dorsal Slit) of VMMC for young adolescents.