South Africans working to cut HIV rates

Israeli-trained doctors begin performing circumcisions.

Five South African physicians and 12 nurses – trained by the Israel-initiated Operation Abraham Collaborative (OAC) based in Jerusalem – have begun to perform circumcisions on adult males to reduce their risk of being infected with HIV.
Called Shesha (rapid, fastmoving in Zulu), the project is being carried out in Kwazulu/ Natal under the leadership of the St. Mary’s Hospital men’s health clinic in Pinetown. OAC is a group of international experts who advise UN, public and private sector organizations in high-volume and high-quality medical circumcision.
This team assisted the World Health Organization in developing the manual on adult circumcision under local anesthesia, and its methodology was selected by South Africa National Department of Health as a “best practice” in circumcision.
An OAC pilot project in Swaziland trained 10 percent of Swazi doctors in delivering safe, swift and effective circumcision for HIV prevention.
The circumcision program and the training by OAC are supported by grants from: Victor Daitz Foundation, Discovery Health of South Africa and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
OAC was initiated by Dr. Inon Schenker, who also serves as the organization’s global health consultant.
Sir Roger Moore, famed for his film portrayals of James Bond and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and his wife Kristina, have granted their support and donated funds for this project in South Africa.
The minor operation to remove the foreskin is carried out under local anesthesia. Private electronic records are kept on the procedure.