POPULATION Services International (PSI), has registered increased uptake of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (Vmmc) services in Mazowe District, Mashonaland central, at the back of increased community engagements and sensitization programs.
By Michael Gwarisa recently in Mvurwi
The province is one of the red zones in terms of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) prevalence owing to massive mining activities and tobacco farming which push young people into risky sexual behaviour.
Mashonaland Central provincial field manager, Mrs Joy Chikwena said despite having set the highest target for Mazowe, the district had surpassed its target.
“As from May this year, we managed to surpass our targets. The monthly target for Mazowe district is 1200 per month and for the Financial Year 2018 (FY18), Mazowe managed to surpass the target. They managed 104 percent.
“As we speak, on a monthly basis, they managed to surpass the target. In May they managed 437, in June they managed 482, July 300, August 511, September 199 and October 357. Every site in the Mazowe has a monthly target of 300,” said Mrs Chikwena.
She added that they have increased their demand creation activities so as to boost uptake of the service which include Roadshows, soccer tournaments, smart fun days, community dialogues, churches as well as riding on festivals such as Nyau Dances and Church sensitization.
PSI in partnership with the MHOCC is currently carrying out Vmmc programs in 22 PEPFAR funded districts with the aim of having circumcision going through 80 percent of the target population which is men between the ages 18 to 29.
In Mash Central, PSI works with five districts which are Mazowe, Mt Darwin, Shamva, Centinary and Bindura. Mazowe and Mt Darwin and PEPFAR funded while Shamva, Centenary and Bindura are under the Gates foundation wing.
PSI Brand and Communication manager, Kuda Murombedzi said demand creation activities especially the Mr Smart Fun Days have reaped results and increased uptake of Vmmc services.
“The Mr Smart Fun day is a program that is run and owned by the community. As a partner we just assist in sourcing for funds.
“What we aim is for the community to own whatever happens in their own area. The community is given a chance to come together. As you know Zimbabwe is not a circumcising country but since we started to the program we have seen communities embracing the initiative,” said Murombedzi.
PSI has four static sites in Mazowe district these are Concession, Rosa, Mvurwi and Tsngungubvi static sites. Mazowe was the first to pilot Vmmc.