PALAPYE: In a bid to entice more local males to circumcise, the Serowe District region is embarking on a cut your foreskin, win a P100 circumcision campaign targeting 7,000 males.
The campaign has got off to a poor start with only 612 males reached so far in the region and the strategists have now devised a plan to also pay recruiters who manage to deliver a person for circumcision P100 per head, or P1,000 for any ten males you bring for circumcision.
Even the nurses performing the surgery are being motivated with P1,000 for every 10 circumcisions performed, knowing that the more tens they operate, the more thousands of Pula they could cash.
“We cannot afford to hit our target and our goal of zero new HIV infections in 2018, at this rate it will take us 20 years and it is not acceptable,“ said Robert Manda of Centre for Disease Control Botswana (CDCB).
Therefore in order to reach our target we will be paying a total of P100 to anyone who will recruit a man on our behalf and if one brings 10 heads he/she is sure of P1,000,” said Manda.
He was speaking at the just ended New Directions in Global Health seminar held at Serowe Institute of Health Sciences (IHS). Manda was worried that at the slow rate they are going, it would take 20 years to reach their target, whereas the campaign has been budgeted for only six months.
The same will apply to the nurses that will be conducting the circumcision. According to the doctor each nurse will be paid P1,000 for 10 circumcisions.
He noted that this is also a chance for Community Based Organisations (CBO) to generate income for their projects because if they mobilise 100 men they will pocket P10,000 which is a lot and can make a difference in their organisations.
The medical doctor also urged women to play a leading role in this endeavour by encouraging their partners to come forth for this good initiative.
“And in the long run it benefits the country as a whole and in particular the health sector in fighting new infections,” he said.
Manda said that this is in support of the recently launched SMC campaign in Maun dubbed ‘Accelerated Safe Male Circumcision’ in 12 districts of this country where there is high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, Serowe district included.
The campaign is funded by the United States (US) government to the tune of $5 million (P65 million) through Preparation’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) Botswana. The target is to reach out to 35,000 males aged between 15 and 29 years across Botswana in six months, using five mobile teams.