The HSRC PHHSI Seminar Series presents: Challenges facing traditional male circumcision in the Eastern Cape Province
Presenters: Dr Anam Nyembezi, and Dr Mbuyiselo Douglas, both of Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation (PHHSI), Human Sciences
Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town (Videoconferencing facilities: see below)
Date: 12 November 2015
Time: 12:15 for 12:30 – 14H00
In recent years there has been a wide coverage in the South African media about the issues of hospital admissions and deaths of initiates
undergoing initiation rites and traditional male circumcision in the Eastern Cape Province. To address this, the Eastern Cape Legislature
promulgated a law, known as Application of Health Standards in Traditional Circumcision Act No. 6 of 2001, which regulates traditional
male circumcision. This legislation provides for the safe conduct of circumcision by governing over its practices, processes and human
resources. For example, a prospective initiate must be 18 years or older, obtain permission from parents or family guardians and undergo a
mandatory pre-circumcision medical examination by a medical doctor.
Additionally, the traditional surgeon and guardian are required to obtain a written permission to perform circumcisions and care for the
initiates. Final permission to conduct a traditional circumcision has to be granted by the medical officer of a designated location.
Nevertheless, the incidence of illegal traditional circumcisions which lead to complications, such as hospital admissions, amputations and
deaths remain unchanged in the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape Department of Health reported that a total of 5035 initiates were admitted to
hospitals, 214 penises amputations and 453 died between June 2006 and June 2013. This situation has led to growing concern on various
stakeholders such as traditional leaders who are the custodian of this rites of passage, politicians within the Eastern Cape provincial
government, opinion leaders, non-governmental organisation, community based organisations and local communities.
The HSRC invites you to be part of a discussion that will critically discuss the challenges facing traditional male circumcision in the
Eastern Cape Province.
Kindly RSVP by 11 November 2015:
Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue
Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021)
4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or JWitten@hsrc.ac.za
Durban : First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko
Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242
5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or RKhan@hsrc.ac.za
Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences
Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel:
(012) 302 2811, firstname.lastname@example.org , or Happy Solomon, HSolomon@hsrc.ac.za, Tel: 012 302 2811
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