East Africa

New learning kit to ease male circumcision – Rwanda


Government has launched a PrePex learning resource package for voluntary medical male circumcision to scale up HIV/AIDS prevention.

The learning package contains the facilitators guide, learners’ guide as well as the research manual that will be used in PrePex training programmes in Rwanda and worldwide.

The PrePex Learning Resource Package was developed through a series of consultative workshops from 2013 to 2015 organised with experts from Rwanda Biomedical Centre, Rwanda Military Hospital, World Health Organisation, US Department of Defense, Jhpiego (American health organization), among others.

Speaking at the roll out ceremony on Thursday evening, the Minister for Health Dr Agnes Binagwaho thanked to the partners for their support.

“We are proud of this partnership. Rwanda would not have achieved this alone,” she said.

“It’s the first time Rwanda applies the rigor of the research and science to get a device prequalified by World health Organisation. This brings the programme to another dimension.”

Major Heather Okemu, the US department of defense representative commended the government for the move.

“We thank Rwanda for being another example of how success can be realised with a strong leadership behind it. This programme would not be achieved without that leadership,” she said.

As of December last year, Rwanda Defence Forces voluntary medical male circumcision programme had contributed to 146,226 circumcisions of which 35,552 were performed using the PrePex device.

Rwanda military hospital is a center of excellence where different countries come to learn about the PrePex method.

Dr Pacifique Mugenzi, Rwanda Military Hospital representative said the package will improve the quality of circumcision.

“The learning package that was set following international norms will not only help achieve better training but also improve the quality of circumcision,” he said.

There are 43 training sites across the country and new sites are regularly opening. It is planned that PrePex will be available in every district hospital in the country.

Studies have shown that medical male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV/AIDS by 60 percent. PrePex is a device that uses elastic rings. It is rapid and considered safer than existing surgical methods.

New Times Rwanda.

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