Israeli Doctors Teach Male Circumcision To African Doctors To Combat Aids

By Sarah Stein February 06, 2011 Comments

An Israeli organization is training local doctors all over Africa to circumcise adult men in order to reduce the spread of HIV/Aids on the continent.

Operation Abraham Collaboration (OAC) recently sent nine Israeli doctors to South Africa, the country with the largest population living with HIV/Aids with over 5 million infected, to train doctors to perform the delicate procedure.

The World Health Organization has declared that circumcision is an “additional, important intervention’ in the campaign against the spread of the HIV/AIDS. The results are based on clinical trials performed in Africa that found a sixty percent lower occurrence of the infection in circumcised men.

Operation Abraham is a voluntary initiative expected to decrease the enormous infection rate in South Afrrica. The organization is an association of eight Israeli hospitals and health institutions dedicated to helping prevent HIV/AIDS through their expert knowledge in male circumcision. Established in May 2007, the organization’s first project took place in Swaziland and was a collaboration between Israeli and Senegalese doctors. Since the successful pilot program the organization continues to train doctors throughout Swaziland. With the assistance of technology and practiced doctors, OAC  has also spread to training South African doctors in circumcision and will be going to other places in Africa to do the same.

According to Senegalese doctor Abdoulay Bousso, who has been taking part in the operations, ten more missions will be sent to South Africa as a result of the initiative’s success.“We have a very good team who are very interested in our project,” said Dr Bousso, who works alongside OAC’s Director and Israeli Global Health specialist Doctor Inon Schenker. “South Africa has been a very successful operation. The local doctors now know the importance of circumcision and have a good knowledge of how to circumcise,” Dr Bousso added.

The team was in South Africa for 2 weeks. After five days of training local doctors, the team went to the hospitals and oversaw further procedures.

A senior nurse from Bnei Zion Hospital in Haifa who took part in the missions, Rachel Woitiz, said that their initiative’s goal is “not only teaching the doctors how to do it, but how to do it in very high volume.” Israeli surgeons are specialists in this field from vast experience with Jewish Russian and Ethiopian immigration,to the country, which ushered in tens of thousands of males wanting to be circumcised. “The local doctors were cooperative, learnt very quickly and can now circumcise up to one thousand men every month,” said Woitiz.

The South Africa National Department of Health selected OAC as the best practice in male circumcision for HIV reduction.

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