Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) is an effective biomedical intervention that has been proven to reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission by up to 60 percent.
With support from national Ministries of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the US PEPFAR program and internal resources, we launched and scaled up VMMC service delivery, communications and advocacy initiatives in 9 of the 14 priority countries for VMMC scale-up in Southern and Eastern Africa: Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Malawi.
To scale-up VMMC in a high-quality, rapid fashion, our network:
- Provides VMMC services at public and private health centers
- Develops and implements communication strategies and materials to create informed demand
- Provides client‐centred HIV and VMMC counselling services to reduce post‐procedure risk compensation
- Implements robust quality assurance systems to prevent adverse events related to VMMC.
We ensure the provision of high quality VMMC services in line with the World Health Organization’s international standards through its five-part quality assurance system that continually measures and improves quality. This system is implemented in concert with quality assurance efforts led by the Ministry of Health in each country and includes robust training in line with international standards, quality assurance audits, routine supportive supervision, adverse events management, and linkages and referrals to ensure continuity of care.
Successful VMMC scale‐up also depends on effective communication for VMMC and strategic integration of VMMC with other HIV prevention approaches. We’ve worked in partnership with RTI International and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the “Demand Creation Toolkit for VMMC”, a practical resource including guidance, how-to templates, tools and an existing materials gallery that enables users to create quality, context-specific communication campaigns for VMMC.
In order to improve scale-up of VMMC services, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and PEPFAR, we have been actively involved in assessing the safety, feasibility, acceptability, and cost of adult and infant male circumcision devices that could potentially accelerate the scale-up of VMMC services. VMMC devices have the potential to make the male circumcision procedure safer, easier, and quicker than current methods. These devices may even be used safely by non-physician healthcare providers with a shorter period of training, leading to a more cost-effective scale-up of male circumcision than standard surgical methods.
Making a Difference
As of September 2014, our network had circumcised more than 1 million boys and men.