Policy environment and male circumcision for HIV prevention: Findings from a situation analysis study in Tanzania

Mwanga, Joseph R.; Wambura, Mwita; Mosha, Jacklin F.; Mshana, Gerry; Mosha, Frank; Changalucha, John
January 2011
BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p506
Academic Journal
Background: Male circumcision (MC) has been shown to be effective against heterosexual acquisition of HIV infection and is being scaled up as an additional strategy against HIV in several countries of Africa. However, the policy environment (whether to formulate new specific policy on MC or adapts the existing ones); and the role of various stakeholders in the MC scale up process in Tanzania was unclear. We conducted this study as part of a situation analysis to understand the attitudes of policy makers and other key community and health authority decision makers towards MC, policy and regulatory environment, and the readiness of a health system to accommodate scaling up of MC services. Methods: We conducted 36 key informants' interviews with a broad range of informants including civil servants, religious leaders, cultural and traditional gatekeepers and other potential informants. Study informants were selected at the national level, regional, district and community levels to represent both traditionally circumcising and non-circumcising communities. Results: Study informants had positive attitudes and strong beliefs towards MC. Key informants in traditionally non-circumcising districts were willing to take their sons for medically performed MC. Religious leaders and traditional gatekeepers supported MC as it has been enshrined in their holy scripts and traditional customs respectively. Civil servants highlighted the need for existence of enabling policy and regulatory environment in the form of laws, regulations and guidelines that will ensure voluntary accessibility, acceptability, quality and safety for those in need of MC services. Majority of informants urged the government to make improvements in the health system at all levels to ensure availability of adequate trained personnel, infrastructure, equipment, and supplies for MC scale up, and insisted on the involvement of different MC stakeholders as key components in effective roll out of medically performed MC programme in the country. Conclusions: Findings from the situation analysis in Tanzania have shown that despite the absence of a specific policy on MC, basic elements of enabling policy environment at national, regional, district and community levels are in place for the implementation of MC scale up programme.


Related Articles

  • Modeling the Population-Level Effects of Male Circumcision as an HIV-Preventive Measure: A Gendered Perspective. Dushoff, Jonathan; Patocs, Audrey; Chyun-Fung Shi // PLoS ONE;2011, Vol. 6 Issue 12, p1 

    Background: Evidence from biological, epidemiological, and controlled intervention studies has demonstrated that male circumcision (MC) protects males from HIV infection, and MC is now advocated as a public-health intervention against HIV. MC provides direct protection only to men, but is...

  • Point: Circumcision is a Cutting-Edge Public Health Strategy. Ballaro, Beverly; Sprague, Nancy // Points of View: Circumcision;3/1/2016, p2 

    The article argues that circumcision is a low-risk procedure that have public health benefits. When properly performed, circumcision is said to offer relevant public health benefits, which outweigh its risks, to developing countries. Circumcision is also believed to have a vital role in reducing...

  • The First Cut Is the Deepest. Skipp, Catharine // Newsweek;7/1/2002, Vol. 140 Issue 1, p9 

    Reports on the controversy over whether to terminate public funding for circumcisions. Termination of public funding by several states, including North Carolina; Argument of many medical experts that circumcision is a purely cosmetic operation; Assertion of advocates that circumcision may lower...

  • Circumcision can combat Aids.  // African Business;Mar2007, Issue 329, p43 

    The article reports on the clinical trials in Uganda and Kenya which have confirmed that circumcision can halve a man's chance of contracting HIV/Aids. According to the article, circumcision's protective effect is the result of the removal of the mucosal inner lining of the foreskin, which is...

  • To Circ or Not to Circ: Indications, Risks, and Alternatives to Circumcision in the Pediatric Population with Phimosis. Steadman, Barbara; Ellsworth, Pamela // Urologic Nursing;Jun2006, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p181 

    The article focuses on the benefits of circumcision for male health may it be for religious, cultural, medical or parental choice reasons. Research suggests that being uncircumcised is a risk factor for herpes, syphilis and gonorrhea. The strongest protective effects are seen in those...

  • Household-Based HIV Counseling and Testing as a Platform for Referral to HIV Care and Medical Male Circumcision in Uganda: A Pilot Evaluation. Tumwebaze, Henry; Tumwesigye, Elioda; Baeten, Jared M.; Kurth, Ann E.; Revall, Jennifer; Murnane, Pamela M.; Chang, Larry W.; Celum, Connie // PLoS ONE;Dec2012, Vol. 7 Issue 12, p1 

    Background: Combination HIV prevention initiatives incorporate evidence-based, biomedical and behavioral interventions appropriate and acceptable to specific populations, aiming to significantly reduce population-level HIV incidence. Knowledge of HIV serostatus is key to linkages to HIV care and...

  • Reality Check.  // Newsweek (Atlantic Edition);9/11/2006 (Atlantic Edition), Vol. 148 Issue 11, p8 

    The article focuses on the ongoing controversy regarding male circumcision. According to the author, medical data exists that shows that male circumcision, unlike female circumcision, may actually save lives. Statistics related to research conducted on the practice are reviewed.

  • Male circumcision. Dahlen, Hannah // Australian Parents;Oct/Nov2003, p44 

    Provides information on male circumcision. Risks of the procedure; Possible benefits.

  • TO CUT OR NOT TO CUT. Gonsalves, Andrew // Gay Times (09506101);Feb2012, Issue 402, p108 

    The author recounts his experience of undergoing circumcision due to a condition called phimosis. He cites some of the reasons behind his initial reluctance to undergo the procedure. He cites the results of a 2000 British survey on circumcision in men born from 1956-60. He says the benefits of...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics