Group Village Head (GVH) Kathebwe and Village Head (VH) Chimbalanga under Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwambo in Zomba stunned their subjects last week when they underwent Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) at Sekwere primary school in the district.
It was part of a twoweek VMMC campaign which the Zomba District Health Office (DHO) held, with support from Jhpiego and targeted 1800 men. The campaign commenced on March 28 and ended on April 9 2016.
The move by the two chiefs inspired most men in the area to undergo the scissor at Sekwere VMMC centre. The centre had already circumcised 534 men by April 7, surpassing its centre target of 450 men.
In an interview last Friday, VH Chimbalanga said he was inspired by his two sons, who had also undergone VMMC during the campaign.
Said Chimbalanga: “Most men from this area undergo circumcision during the Simba ritual, and my sons said they will not do it at Simba, they wanted to do VMMC. So when the campaign commenced, they came, and they told me how easy it was.
“Again, as a chief, I am supposed to help government in such campaigns, but how do I urge people to go for VMMC if I am not circumcised? So I decided that I have to do it, so that when I tell people to undergo VMMC, I have to know what I am talking about.”
On his part, GVH Kathebwe said he was inspired to undergo the scissor because of its impact.
“I learnt that through VMMC, I could prevent my wife from suffering from cervical cancer and that it somehow prevents HIV transmission,” he said.
Community Mobilisation and Communications Officer for Jhpiego, Pius Mtike hailed the two chiefs for “leading by example in the campaign”.
According to District Medical Officer (DMO) for Zomba Dr Vanessa Kandoole, since VMMC started in the district in 2013, about 18 000 men have been circumcised.
“In the current campaign, we had circumcised 1299 men by April 7 in all centres namely Sekwere, Magomero, Matawale, Mambo, Likwenu and Thondwe, but Sekwere had regisrted more men,” she said.
The HIV prevalence in Zomba stands at 15 percent.