In a bid to curb the spread of HIV/Aids in Samburu County, at least 200 boys have been circumcised under a free male voluntary circumcision programme in Rangau village.
This was part of the activities to mark the 31st anniversary of the World’s Aids Day.
The beneficiaries, most of them from poor backgrounds, will be taken care of at Rangau Primary School for the next two weeks.
The programme has saved poor parents from paying hospital bills for circumcision.
SPREAD OF HIV/AIDS
“This programme has helped poor parents who could not afford circumcision fees in health facilities,” said Mr Bryan Lempoko, a beneficiary.
The programme is sponsored by Shades of Hope, a local Non-Governmental Organisation operating in Samburu County.
The director and founder of the organisation, who is also Maralal Ward MCA Fred Kiragu, said poor boys who sat for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education this year were selected from all communities living in the region.
The cosmopolitan county is inhibited by Kikuyu, Samburu, Turkana, and Luo communities who benefited from the programme that has been in existence for the past 13 years.
“Circumcising boys is one way of reducing the spread of HIV/Aids, some of the beneficiaries are orphans and so far 11,000 boys have benefited from this programme since inception,” said Mr Kiragu.
Mr Innocent Rimo from Turkana community, who had brought boys from Suguta Marmar area in Samburu West for circumcision said his community has been sensitised on the importance of male circumcision.
“In the past, we did not value male circumcision but this has changed after sensitisation programmes by Shades of Hope. Male circumcision is key towards the prevention of sexually transmitted infections,” he said.
Mr Kiragu said the beneficiaries will have a chance to bond for the next two weeks.
"This exercise has contributed to peace building among Samburu and Turkana herders, it has also reduced cattle rustling,” said Mr Kiragu
He added: “Herders from the Samburu and Turkana communities have been fighting but we are bringing them together through initiation."