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Snap Survey: Circumcised Men Should Get Foreskins

A doctor (L) performs circumcision on an unidentified politician in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV, in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Large numbers of people in Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa say circumcised men should be given their foreskin after undergoing the medical procedure.

In a snap survey conducted on VOA Facebook and WhatsApp, 86 percent of 300 respondents said there is nothing wrong with circumcised men taking home their foreskins.

They said this move will ensure that more people will undergo the medical procedure as some of them strongly believe that foreskins are used for witchcraft purposes.

One of the respondents, who identified himself as Tafadwa, said African believe in many issues. “So I think after circumcision one should be given the foreskin and does the proper disposal himself like what is done to umbilical cords of a new born baby. With this, several issues linked to the medical male circumcision program will vanish.”

Another respondent, Keysdom, echoed the same sentiments saying “the circumcised men should be given their foreskin. I remember after undergoing the medical procedure, they just showed it to me before throwing it into a big plastic (dust bin).”

But Taona Mbwende said foreskins should be disposed in a professional manner in hospitals. “People must use government hospitals only not private surgeries” for undergoing medical male circumcision which experts say reduces HIV transmission by 60 percent.

According to respondent Patrick, "It may be true that cut off foreskins are being used for witchcraft because no one knows where they keep them after circumcision. So, it's better to give it to the owner after they cut it off."

Some men in the three nations are not keen to have their foreskins cut off, saying traditional healers and witchdoctors may be using the flesh for witchcraft purposes.

South African-based medical practitioner Doctor Joshua Sibanda said medical laws in these three countries do not allow people to keep any human flesh at home.

“It is unlawful for people to possess human flesh at home and one of the main reasons is that body parts can cause diseases if not disposed of in a proper way,” said Dr. Sibanda.