Ministry of Health (MoH) says about 220 000 voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMCs) were done by September 2015 with more males aged 10 to 15 being circumcised than those in the 15 to 45 age bracket.
MoH targets to circumcise 408 460 by the end of this year which means about 188 460 circumcisions need to be conducted in the remaining months.
In a written response to a questionnaire on Thursday, MoH spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said the overall target to be circumcised by the year 2020 is 2 458 727 and the targeted patrons are males from ages 10 to 34.
He said, nevertheless, those that are above the targeted age range have not been denied the services.
Giving statistics of the month-long VMMC MoH in collaboration with its partners conducted from July 20 to August 28, Chikumbe said higher figures of circumcised males during the campaign were registered in the districts of Mangochi, Machinga and Balaka.
He said the case could be largely attributed to cultural and religious influence in the three Eastern Region districts.
Chikumbe said Malawi has generally done well on VMMC as an estimated 50 percent of the targeted population has actually been circumcised in the initial seven districts of Lilongwe, Zomba, Blantyre, Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe, Chikwawa and Nkhotakota.
He said, at the moment, the campaign is being extended to 20 more districts and more partners are supporting the initiative.
He said: “We would like to emphasise that VMMC is only supplementary and does not aim to replace the already existing HIV prevention measures, namely the ABCs [abstinence, being faithful and condom use].”
In 2007, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended inclusion of VMMC in the national prevention plans in high-risk countries such as Malawi.
However, male circumcision is not new to Malawi as traditional circumcision is performed among several of Malawi’s ethnic groups, among them the Yao and the Lhomwe, as part of initiation ceremonies for young men.