National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust in Mangochi District has advised health officials to check the tendency of allowing learners to undergo voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC) during school time.
In an interview on Wednesday, Nice Mangochi civic education officer Turner Banda said the tendency is fuelling school absenteeism among the circumcised children as their wounds take time to heal.
“The same officials were on a campaign sometime back condemning the rolling out of the exercise when school is in session. They argued that it would disrupt the promotion of quality education,” he said.
Banda said messages reached everybody in the district, including the traditional initiators (Angalibas) who promised to take heed of the advice.
“Government should be committed and serious with the way it conducts its business. The fact that it wants to reach many people in VMMC campaigns should not compromise development,” he said.
Banda said the act is tantamount to killing the children as it is denying them access to education.
But in an interview, Mangochi District Hospital spokesperson Harold Kabuluzi said the hospital understands the complications that may arise when one is circumcised; hence, it conducts VMMC among students during school holidays.
“I am not sure about this. All I can tell you is that we always embark on the exercise among students when they are on holiday. During the time when school is in session, we circumcise those who are not in school and adults,” he enthused.