Circumcision ‘death season’ claims more lives
Four more boys died this month as a result of traditional initiation rituals in the Eastern Cape, adding to the three boys in December and another earlier this month. As usual, the boys succumbed to the poor conditions of ‘illegal’ initiation schools operating outside the boundaries of hygiene and proper medical controls… in other words, traditionally.
Thanks to a strong effort by the provincial health department, the death toll is down from an average of 24 over the last three years. But it’s not just death that youths have to worry about: every year a number of boys end up having their penises amputated after botched circumcisions, and an unknown number will contract AIDS when the same blade is used on one boy after another. All so that they may be considered to be adults, a state which the mere passing of time bequeaths upon the rest of us in due course and without the prerequisite of genital mutilation.
Yet another point to raise when people ask you “what’s the harm?”