A hundred and twenty boys from poor families in Samburu County have undergone free and voluntary circumcision at Uhuru Academy in Maralal town Samburu County.
The initiative, which targeted boys from all communities living in the county, is aimed at reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the region.
“According to a research that was done, male circumcision reduces the rate of STDs especially HIV infection by 65 per cent,” said John Ekiao who is a doctor at Samburu county referral hospital.
Shades of hope Samburu, a local NGO operating in the county has been sponsoring the program at the end of each year for the last twelve years, a move that has seen a total 9000 boys and men get circumcised at no cost.
The organisation’s founder and director, who is also an MCA representing Maralal town ward Fred Kiragu said the program was being used to discourage cattle rustling, unite communities, nurture peace and cohesion across the county.
“When youths from different communities that are hostile at each other meet here for a month after a joint circumcision, it brings and yields friendship, cohesion and this helps us to fight cattle rustling,” Mr Kiragu said.
The beneficiaries are being trained life skills and on the importance of peaceful coexistence as well as pursuing education, a situation that has persuaded some of them to make a decision of joining primary and secondary schools to continue with education from where they had left.
“Even though I have never gone to school but I will go to school from here following a training session we have been given,” said Pasaka Lekarpes, a beneficiary.
Lekarpes discouraged his peers against cattle rustling and instead challenged them to join learning institutions to acquire education that would help them transform their lives for better.
According to some of the beneficiaries, they wouldn’t have undergone rite of passage this year if it were not for the program since their families are not financially stable to cater for their circumcision bills in health facilities.