Botched Circumcisions Kill 33 Boys in S. Africa
Male genital mutilation, also known as circumcision, is as horrific and sometimes deadly as female genital mutilation, and is frequently carried out against the personal wishes of young persons.
A high number of deaths from inept cutting of the penis foreskin on teenage males has been reported in the past few days out of South Africa, but not yet attracting USA media or blogger attention.
The 33 deaths are in themselves an outrage, and as this Deutsche Presse-Agentur story states, there are quite a few other similar deaths reported recently, along with high numbers hospitalized with infections and mutilated penises.
I wonder how many instances of male and female deaths from circumcision occur and are not recorded by health authorities or make the news.
In my view, genital circumcision on either young or adolescent males or females should be outlawed unless full consent is granted, when they are adults.
A BBC report from May 2009 said,
Eight boys have died and three are in hospital after botched circumcisions in the South African province of Mpumalanga, officials say.Further back, in December 2003, a frightening article appeared in the South African Mail and Guardian, reporting a figure in the triple-digits for number of male circumcision deaths since the mid-1990s:
The teenagers were at an initiation school in the town of Kwamhlanga.
One of the initiates died in hospital and the seven others were found by health officials dead at the school.
Department spokesperson Kupelo said the department has no intention of interfering with traditional customs, and is merely trying to prevent unnecessary deaths, of which there have been more than 250 since 1995.Excerpts from the German press agency's report today:
Thirty-three South African boys have died following botched circumcisions in the country’s Eastern Cape province, radio reports said Sunday ...
The group procedure is usually carried out in winter. Each year brings its share of fatalities, which are usually blamed on the use of blunt, unsterilised instruments ...
The Department of Health has expressed alarm at the death toll, which has steadily climbed in recent days and said it was sending additional health workers to the area to carry out an audit.
A health spokesman pointed the finger at local communities for the deaths, accusing them of covering up for illegal initiation schools and hiding injured boys until it was too late to save them.
The commonest causes of death are septicaemia from infected wounds, and dehydration, which happens when initiates are denied water by their handlers.
Many more youths are hospitalised each year with infected or mutilated penises ...