Namibia: Haufiku to Circumcise The Dogg

HEALTH minister Bernard Haufiku will give musician The Dogg 'a smart cut' when the voluntary medical male circumcision campaign moves to the Oshana region soon.

The Dogg (real name Martin Morocky), the voluntary circumcision campaign ambassador, told The Namibian on Friday at Swakopmund where Haufiku officially opened a clinic that he is yet to get the "smart cut." Haufiku also introduced The Dogg as the ambassador to push the ministry's nationwide campaign with the call: Get Smart, and Cut with The Dogg.

"I can do circumcisions very well," Haufiku said during the official opening.

He then whispered into The Dogg's ear, inviting him to Oshona to take the "smart cut."

When approached by The Namibian about what Haufiku had said, The Dogg admitted that even though he is the official ambassador for the campaign, he is not circumcised.

Vowing to do his best to encourage others, The Dogg said he will have to walk the talk soon when Haufiku administers the smart cut.

Already, The Dogg plans to spread the message through his performances and social media about how circumcision can reduce HIV contraction by 60%.

The United States ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton, presented figures showing that since Namibia and his country partnered to fight HIV-AIDS in 2003, nearly one in four Namibians were infected. Today, that number is one in seven.

"We want to stand side-by-side with Namibia when it reaches the target it has set to become the first African country to meet the 90/90/90 goal," said Daughton.

The 90/90/90 goal means identifying 90% of all people who are HIV positive; getting 90% of them to lifesaving antiretroviral drugs; and achieving a viral suppression of 90% of the people taking the drugs.

He said the circumcision campaign was a key strategy in steering Namibia to this goal. In fact, the US has committed N$100 million to support the campaign in the Erongo, Oshana, Zambezi and Khomas regions.

Only about 26% of Namibian males are circumcised; most of them for and through cultural reasons and traditional means. According to Haufiku, Namibia has failed in promoting the campaign, hence the renewed drive to get at least 300 000 males circumcised by next year.

"This is why we need to promote it differently to make use of platforms that attract many people, and Mr Morocky's performances is an example of such platforms," stated the minister.

He also said Namibia needs to be innovative in getting the message across, like what Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri who came to Namibia at the start of this year, did.

Source: The Namibian.