Home » Governance » Circumcision to Save U.S $1,1 Billion

Government is targeting to circumcise close to one million men by 2025 and expects to save $1,1 billion in HIV treatment costs through the exercise, a Cabinet minister has said.

Speaking at the launch of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Accelerated Operational Plan 2014 to 2018 in Marondera last week, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said circumcision presented the country with a huge opportunity to further reduce HIV prevalence.

“The addition of VMMC to other HIV prevention methods already in place and scaling it up to reach 80 percent has been demonstrated to reduce the prevalence further to 4,4 percent by 2025, further it will result in 220 000 new infections averted and a net savings of nearly $1,1 billion from the resultant costs of care,” he said.

“Zimbabwe as part of the community of nations aims to make its own contribution through improved health and reduction of the HIV burden for its people.”

Under Zim-Asset, Dr Parirenyatwa said Government was targeting to circumcise nearly 900 000 males by 2018 as it stepped up efforts to fight the HIV pandemic.

“I, therefore, urge all of you to support the scaling up of this operational plan as part of Zim-Asset goals, our remaining target of nearly 900 000 males by 2018 though seemingly steep is achievable if we organise ourselves and approach our work differently,” he said.

Dr Parirenyatwa said there was need to take extraordinary steps to ensure that the country achieved the targets enshrined in the operational plan. “At the end of 2014 we had slightly surpassed the 400 000 circumcision mark since the inception of the programme which represents 30 percent of the 1,3 million target that we need to achieve by 2017,” he said.

The launch of the circumcision exercise was aimed at accelerating efforts in further reducing new HIV infections and ensure that the country consolidated its achievements attained in the fight against the HIV and Aids pandemic.

Source : The Herald