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Circumcision invasion of Baba’s bedroom

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By Owino Ken

“The ultimate popularity of circumcision depends not on convincing normal men to undergo the ordeal of surgery, but on targeting a group of patients who could not object” – David Gollaher

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it” – Upton Sinclair.

Young adults usually engage in relationships with the core intent of sliding into marriage later in life. These relationships may occur between men and women from different ethnic communities or race. In some African cultures, it is believed that circumcision of both boys and girls serves a purpose of increasing their marriageability besides bridging the gap between childhood and adulthood lives. Before and after the massive roll out of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision(VMMC), a section of men from traditionally non – circumcising ethnic groups faced ostracism when all they got was rejection by women they thought would be their life partners. However, it is profoundly astonishing to see these women accept men originating from Europe, Asia and America who are not circumcised. We, therefore, ask ; does the circumcision status of a man or woman determine whether or not to be chosen as a marriage partner?

One of Kenya’s most popular Newspapers, The Standard, has ones again brought to light another fraud under the hood. Unethical doctors mint millions from the massively driven VMMC programme, viciously scrambling for money and putting several boys to unnecessary risks. Data collected by the Kenya Medical Research Institute(KEMRI) puts the blame on money-based targets for the tragedy. VMMC implementers are currently flouting rules to recruit underage children, bribing and enticing them, engaging unqualified circumcisers, inappropriate stitching, threatening, intimidating and coaxing them to go for circumcision.

There is no much debate surrounding the legitimacy of therapeutic circumcision as long as it is performed on a consenting fully informed adult. However, the non – therapeutic circumcision massively enrolled in Sub – Saharan Africa under the famous slogan of VMMC is performed on healthy babies or young boys who are not old enough to provide their own consent most commonly for the doctor’s personal gains and interests. “Children of whatever gender should not have healthy parts of their most intimate sexual organs removed, before such a time as they can understand what is at stake in such a surgery and agree to it themselves ” writes Brian D. Earp in Sex and Circumcision, an article which appeared in the American Journal of Bioethics. Brian says that removing healthy, functional and erotogenic tissue from a child’s genitals is not an unremarkable affair, as the decision about whether to have circumcision performed in the first place should be left to the individual who must live with the consequences.

Another article ; Circumcision : A Cut Below the Belt by Dr. Brij B. Agarwal et al which appeared in the Ganga Ram Hospital Journal, New Delhi, India says that circumcision was medicalised in the 19th century by doctors due to financial benefits accrued. Dr. Agarwal et al say that the basic tenet of “Primum non nocere(First, do no harm) “was overlooked being a core option in surgical profession. The medical fraternity seems to be endorsing Early Infant Male Circumcision(EIMC) ; being a common source of income for many surgeons, paediatricians, physicians and obstetricians as several circumcisions are performed in a month.

Last week, Kenya’s top brass politicians riding on the Orange Democratic Movement(ODM) party voyage pitched tent in Kibra Constituency to campaign heartily for their candidate, one Imran Okoth in the by-election which took place on Thursday 7th, November 2019 in what was popularly known by ODM followers as an effort by Kenya’s opposition leader, Raila Odinga, popularly known as Baba, to lock his political opponents out of his bedroom. Raila Odinga’s literal bedroom is the Luo – Nyanza electorates, and the best action he should take to completely take charge of his adherents is to lock the medical fraud of male circumcision completely out of his bedroom.

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