Traditional male circumcision: ways to prevent deaths due to dehydration

SOURCE: American Journal of Men's Health
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.Douglas, T.X.Maluleke
KEYWORDS: CIRCUMCISION, DEHYDRATION, EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE, HEALTH, INITIATION RITUALS, RISK BEHAVIOUR
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9005
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/1623

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Abstract

Deaths of initiates occurring in the circumcision initiation schools are preventable. Current studies list dehydration as one of the underlying causes of deaths among traditional male circumcision initiates in the Eastern Cape, a province in South Africa, but ways to prevent dehydration in the initiation schools have not been adequately explored. The goals of this study were to (a) explore the underlying determinants of dehydration among initiates aged from 12 to 18 years in the traditional male circumcision initiation schools and (b) determine knowledge of participants on the actions to be taken to prevent dehydration. The study was conducted at Libode, a rural area falling under Nyandeni municipality. A simple random sampling was used to select three focus group discussions with 36 circumcised boys. A purposive sampling was used to select 10 key informants who were matured and experienced people with knowledge of traditional practices and responsible positions in the communities. The research findings indicate that the practice has been neglected to inexperienced, unskillful, and abusive traditional attendants. The overall themes collated included traditional reasons for water restriction, imbalanced food nutrients given to initiates, poor environmental conditions in the initiation hut, and actions that should be taken to prevent dehydration. This article concludes with discussion and recommendation of ways to prevent dehydration of initiates in the form of a comprehensive circumcision health promotion program.