Health Deputy Minister Liteboho Kompi has urged women to encourage their partners and sons to get circumcised as doing so reduces the risk of cervical cancer among other benefits.
Ms Kompi said this during a Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) campaign march from Setsoto Stadium to Lehakoe Recreational Centre on Friday.
She said women had the responsibility of protecting their lives and those of their loved ones by encouraging them to undergo circumcision. VMMC is a surgical procedure whereby the foreskin is removed by a trained medical professional.
“It has been confirmed by medical experts that a circumcised penis reduces the risk of cervical cancer. So let’s encourage our partners to get circumcised since it is a free procedure that can save lives and prevent diseases,” Ms Kompi said.
“Circumcision is also more hygienic and increases pleasure for sexual partners.”
By getting circumcised, she said, men also lowered their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases such as genital herpes, syphilis and Chlamydia.
According to recent estimates, 23 percent or just under one in four people, are living with HIV in the Mountain Kingdom. Lesotho is second only to Swaziland, with 26 percent of the country’s adults in the 15-49 age group HIV positive.
Studies have also shown that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV transmission from an infected female partner by 60 percent.
The deputy minister said women should regularly undergo cervical cancer screening and get tested for HIV since prevention was better than cure.
Ms Kompi, however, stressed circumcision was not a substitute for using condoms.
“As we talk about the benefits of male circumcision, we need not forget to use condoms. We must also avoid multiple sexual partners. So let’s ensure that we live well and longer,” she added.
Jhpiego’s Litšoanelo Motsoahae chipped in saying VMMC also helped prevent penile cancer, balanitis (inflammation of the end of the penis), paraphimosis (when the foreskin cannot be replaced in its normal position after it is retracted behind the glans) and lowered the risk of urinary tract infections.