The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Luis Gomes Sambo visited Rwanda this June 2012, and said that the success of the new circumcision device being tested in Rwanda can be part of the HIV prevention program, and a lesson for all African countries, south of the Sahara.
Dr. Sambo was on a four day working visiting to learn more about Rwanda’s programs and assess progress on the ground with the view of sharing some success stories with the rest of the continent.
He also met President Paul Kagame and congratulated his government for having registered remarkable progress in health care.
Sambo said that the new device is likely to improve the way circumcisions are performed and increase on the WHO bid to combat HIV/Aids, which is at a high prevalence on the African continent, especially in the sub-Saharan region
Africa has at least 23 million people with HIV and a very high prevalence with 2 million new infections per year.
The new circumcision Prepex device, which is a painless and bloodless technique of circumcision, is for the first time being tested and this is happening in Rwanda.
The WHO director visited Kanombe military hospital to witness a firsthand experience of how the Prepex device is being used for male circumcision in Rwanda for the last two years.
One male patient, Alexis Mugabe, who had received the circumcision treatment, said the procedure was quick and painless. “It took about two minutes and I felt no pain at all,” he said, adding that he was confident he would go back to work the following day without problem.
Rwanda has launched a major campaign to have men get circumcised especially at a young age. At least 10.000 males have so far been circumcised using the Prepex device.
Sambo said that he was also impressed with the significant progress made by Rwanda in the health system, especially at community level.