Sunday, July 05, 2009

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.

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.
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:
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 ...


Patrick Monette-Shaw said...

Thanks, Michael, for posting this important and shocking piece. I've forwarded it to the Bang list serve, hoping for wider coverage.

And to think that UCSF and its rotten AIDS Research Institute have been leading proponents of circumcisions to prevent new HIV cases in Africa is absolutely shameful.

I wonder what that dysfunctional San Francisco AIDS Foundation and its global affiliate Pangea have been saying lately about circumcision-to-prevent-AIDS? Obviously, Dr. Goosby must know how dangerous the practice of circumcision is! Do you think they report morbidity and mortality data resulting from botched circumcisions honestly?

More lies coming from those rotten Mohelim posing as researchers! And why is it that we only learn of these outrages from the foreign press, while U.S. media outlets are completely asleep at the wheel?


Unknown said...

a friend from back east made some good points in an email to me:

There is a world of difference between the medically performed circumcisions in western nations and the cultural quasi-religious rites of circumcision performed by shamen, which are the source of problems in South Africa.

Mark Lyndon said...

There's a world of difference between the medically performed female circumcisions in places like Egypt, Malaysia and Brunei (and formerly the USA), and the cultural quasi-religious rites of female circumcision performed by shamen. No-one would ever get away with suggesting that removing any part of female genitals was acceptable to tackle HIV though. There is evidence to suggest it would work.

Hugh7 said...

When the boys die, they're at pains to call it "botched" circumcision, but is there anything to suggest that the procedures themselves went any differently from usual?

When the head of the penis, or the whole penis, comes off, that's indisputably botched, but calling other negative outcomes "botched" is a way of getting circumcision itself off the hook.

Death is a risk from any circumcision, for example from MRSA in a hospital, or haemorrhage because the parents didn't know that a baby can only lose pitifully little blood (about two tablespoons) before he needs a transfusion, and modern gels in disposable nappies can easily absorb that much.

David Wilton said...

Mark Cloutier of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation responded to the circumcision issue as posted here: