A mobile clinic offering voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMC) was launched at the Airport Mall in Belhar yesterday. Photo: Henk Kruger / Africa News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – An excited and nervous Delft resident, Dwight Levitt, 22, took his place on the treatment table ready to be the first client at the mobile clinic offering voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMC).

The VMMC clinic was launched at the Airport Mall in Belhar as a joint initiative by the Department of Health with international, non-profit health organisation Jphiego yesterday.

Levitt was first in line to be treated by the staff of the VMMC and said he was ready to be circumcised.

“I have always wanted to have this done and I know that this will help me against getting STIs or HIV. I had to wait a few more minutes because my blood pressure was a bit high, but I am still going to be first to have this done today (yesterday),” he said.

The VMMC runs together with the Man Up national awareness campaign, which encourages young men from as young as 15 to volunteer for medical male circumcision - at no cost - because of its health benefits.

Men from the surrounding areas were invited to visit the mobile clinic and book their appointments for circumcisions. They will receive a health check and even learn their status and receive counselling from VMMC staff.

Internationally-renowned DJ Reddy D and wife, Malikah Daniels, were ambassadors for the campaign, providing cypher tutorials to the public. Malikah, an avid modified race-car enthusiast, gave a masterclass in drifting to draw the crowds.

Reddy D said the campaign was important to help men of all ages take their health seriously and receive knowledge and empower themselves.

Malikah said as women it was important to support and encourage partners to take their health seriously and get tested, get circumcised and to stay safe.

Jhpiego manager Zolani Barnes said the US-funded programme aimed to assist almost 48000 men by next September. 

“This mobile clinic allows us to reach men in various under-resourced areas and we run this programme in KZN and have a combined target of 143 000 in the space of a year. We are reaching out to community leaders, traditional leaders and working with healers because there remains some stigma and fear as men remain scared of knowing their status,” said Barnes.

US Center for Disease Control and Prevention country director Amy Herman-Roloff said they had been working with the national Health Department regarding circumcision since 2010. “There have been well over one million circumcisions performed in SA, but the Western Cape has been dragging with access to services being one of the reasons. The latest HSRC household survey estimates there are 4200 new infections weekly,” she said.

For more information on the mobile clinic visit the Manup_Soenat Facebook Page. Men are also invited to book their circumcisions via WhatsApp via 0648779051.