eHealth News, South Africa

Soap Star Drives Sexual Health Campaign

Actor and Brothers for Life ambassador, Kagiso Modupe, is challenging 2,000 men to join him on a campaign drive to promote medical male circumcision.

Circumcision - EHN

South African actor and Brothers for Life ambassador, Kagiso Modupe, is challenging 2,000 men to join him on a campaign drive called #ZwakalaSkeem to promote medical male circumcision.

Modupe will undergo his circumcision on 11 March 2017 – on #ZwakalaSkeem day, which means “come with me, brother”, and is encouraging men to book for a medical circumcision by sending a ‘please call me’ to 082 808 6152 to secure a slot at one of 150 clinics in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and the North West.

“I would like South African men to join me in a celebration of masculinity, brotherhood and good health. I’m calling on men to be circumcised with me on Saturday, 11 March 2017. A lot of men are asking me to support them while they do it. If we all do it on Saturday, we will be there for each other,” said Modupe.

Modupe will undergo the procedure at the Katlehong North Municipal Clinic at the same time as 150 other clinics across the country. The procedure can be done free at clinics, community health centres and district hospitals across the country.

“I visited the clinic in Katlehong where I will have my procedure on Saturday and met my doctor. I am deeply impressed by her knowledge and experience as well as that of the health professionals there.  I feel completely safe in their hands as they are highly trained and they put me at ease,” said Modupe.

The 30 minutes procedure is done under a local anaesthetic and patients are given pain killers to manage discomfort if they need them. After the circumcision, two follow up clinic visits are needed.

Modupe says the campaign has received overwhelming response from the men he’s talked to and has received close to 1,500 calls and hundreds of messages. However, Modupe notes that a lack of knowledge about circumcision, perceptions that men should get circumcised at a young age and fear, are some of the barriers to getting circumcised.

According to USAID funded non-profit, Right to Care, medical circumcision reduces the chance of contracting HIV/AIDS by 60% and also reduces the risks of contracting other sexually transmitted infections, and reduces the risk of cervical cancer for women whose partners are circumcised.

“We are running this campaign with Kagiso because HIV and STI infection can be prevented through circumcision; it also reduces the risks of cervical, anal and prostate cancer,” said Medical Male Circumcision Manager at Right to Care, Dr Khumbulani Moyo.

Since 2012, over 2.5 million men have been circumcised through the South African circumcision programme, a National Department of Health initiative supported by the US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID and the Centre for Disease Control.

“I hope that by sharing my experience and being open about it I can help men overcome their fears and learn everything they need to know to make the right choice for themselves and their partners,” concluded Modupe.

A family fun day with musical performances from local groups, competitions and DJs will take place at the Katlehong North Municipal Clinic from 8am till 12 noon.

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