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Durban - Critics of the controversial Tara Klamp have come in for strong criticism from KwaZulu-Natal’s health MEC at a medical male circumcision indaba.
“Why is there so much noise on the use of Tara Klamp device? Nobody has died or penile amputations reported. This has proven to be successful in our drive for a massive circumcision in the province,” said Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
Speaking in Durban at the weekend, he said the health department medical male circumcision campaign was aimed at reducing HIV/Aids transmission.
Since its 2010 launch, about 243 000 men had been circumcised, with the Tara Klamp used on more than 42 000 of those men, Dhlomo said.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has condemned the use of the Tara Klamp, which, it says, is unsafe and could lead to erectile dysfunction. The NGO also criticised the state’s procurement of the device and cost per unit.
However, the MEC said the new device reduced pain and bleeding and time spent at the clinic. Circumcision using forceps sometimes required the patient to go back to the clinic the following day because of excessive bleeding and pain.
But Dhlomo said both methods would be used in what is a massive campaign, targeting 3.5 million men and boys for circumcision by 2014.
Dhlomo accused critics of the device of sowing confusion.
“We have a capable team trained on using the device. People should stop this general belief that when manufactured equipment comes from an Eastern country it deserves to be ridiculed,” he said.
The indaba discussed the following myths and fears about circumcision:
l One does not need to use condoms after circumcision.
l It improves sexual desire.
l It disfigures the penis.
l One can have many partners once circumcised.
l Real circumcision is done at the mountain, not in hospital.
l It reduces the risk of HIV infection for men by up to 60 percent.
l It minimises premature ejaculation.
Dhlomo said King Goodwill Zwelithini had lent his support to the campaign and the department had contracted 55 traditional co-ordinators to encourage men to go for medical circumcision. - Daily News