Author(s): Gretahun H
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Abstract PIP: A 3-month-old male infant was brought to Estie Health Center, a remote rural health clinic in South Gondar, unable to void urine following circumcision performed a few weeks earlier by a witch doctor. Much of the penile shaft, including the glans, had been removed and the urethra had been obliterated by scarring. Lack of transport prevented referral to a higher level of health facility, so appropriate measures were promptly taken at the health center. A pediatric NG-tube was inserted and attached to the urethra for 7 days to release the scarring. By that time, healing was complete and the infant was voiding urine comfortably. He was also given broad-spectrum antibiotics. The boy's long-term future, however, has been irrevocably and adversely affected by the partial amputation of his penis. Bleeding, tetanus, and sepsis are other common complications of unsafe male circumcision. Unsafe male circumcision most likely contributes significantly to the infant mortality rate. Rural communities must be taught about the dangers of male circumcision when it is performed unsafely by untrained personnel, while health workers in peripheral facilities should be trained to perform male circumcision in a standard, careful, and safe manner.
This article was published in Afr Health
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics