A few blog posts ago, I expose how the PEPFAR backed Soka Uncobe campaign is having trouble getting off the ground. Such a failure the campaign has been so far that organizers have tried boosting the campaign with a football team and endorsement from the king himself.
It looks like, however, Swaziland is not the only country where men aren't swallowing the circumcision/HIV pill. According to Mmegi, in Botswana, only 14,000 of 467,000 targeted men (12%) have stepped forward since the program began last year.
In the words of Principal public relations officer at the ministry of health Temba Sibanda, that a large portion of the targeted group is not coming forth for circumcision is a "mystery."
A "mistery?" Really? Has the ministry of health not considered that perhaps these men aren't too keen on getting part of their penises cut off? Even with perceived "benefits?"
Have "mass circumcision campaign" organizers ever considered the possibility that some men may never agree to get circumcised? That some men treasure their bodies and would prefer an alternative? What alternatives do circumcision campaign organizers have ready for such men? Or was prefering to stay intact simply not supposed to be an option?
The Soka Uncobe campaign has tried to appeal to Swazi masculinity by employing the imagery of women, and asking women to "support" men who go in for circumcisions. But does that same "support" go for the men who would rather learn proper hygiene and the proper usage of condoms?
That is a question that needs to be put to these knife-happy pro-mutilators. What if despite all the efforts, the men would prefer an alternative to circumcision? Do they have that scenario in mind? Do they have education packages as part of these "mass circumcision campaigns" for men who do not want to be circumcised in place? Or are they simply not going to offer these men that option?
The priorities of so-called humanitarian aid organizations come ever into view; what is the true end-game? Is it truly the prevention of HIV transmission? Or is it the acceptance and proliferation of a controversial surgical procedure?