March 30, 2019

Health Minister Tells Border Communities To Avoid “Fake Circumcisions” In Uganda


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Health Minister Dr Diane Gashumba shows locals the photos she said are of people who had developed complications after being circumcised in Uganda

The Healthy Ministry has launched a campaign in areas bordering Uganda to provide circumcision services for which the locals have been crossing the border to get – a program coming after President Paul Kagame angrily rapped the Minister.

Speaking today at umuganda monthly community service in Bungwe sector, Burera district, Health Minister Dr Diane Gashumba said that male circumcision was now freely available at all local facilities.

She said community health workers were mobilising everyone that needs circumcision to visit any health facility.

As the Health Minister spoke, she displayed photos of a man circumcised from across in Uganda whose wound had developed complications. The photos show that the wound has pass as a result of infections, said Dr Gashumba to the hundreds of locals.

“In Uganda they are giving you fake treatment, there is no hygiene, they don’t care about you. Go to our doctors here who care about you. Do not go back there,” said the Health Minister.

During the umuganda, several people who spoke said medical staff in Ugandan facilities use salt and water to wash the circumcised wounds, instead of prescribed medication.

Local officials said they had recorded several people whose wounds had failed to heal, and had to be treated again.

However, the residents said the reason why some go to Uganda is because they do not have health insurance cards. They said it was cheaper in facilities across.

During the opening of the Government retreat early this month, President Kagame was visibly angry as he wondered what was missing to provide basic services to border communities.

Health Minister Dr Diane Gashumba had umuganda with local border communities in Burera district

Specifically citing circumcision, Kagame said he couldn’t imagine how people had to walk to Uganda to get the service yet there was a world renowned Rwandan invention Prepex.

The tool was invented by military doctors in collaboration with Israelis back in 2013. Its circumcision is bloodless and it got global reviews. It was also approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

It has emerged in recent times that the device may no longer be in use in Rwanda.

“Whereas we dont take serious our inventions, others are enjoying them. Am told it is widely used in west Africa,” said Kagame.

The ongoing campaign to prevent border residents from crossing to Uganda for circumcisions comes as “travel advisory” is in force. No Rwandans are allowed to go to Uganda.

Government of Rwanda says it cannot guarantee their safety while there.

The comments of people in Burera district about how circmcised wounds are washed with salt, also follows what happened in Nyagatare district. Border communities said at local meetings that maize flour from Uganda was dirty.

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