Gauteng Health Dept probes Noordgesig circumcisions

The Fleurhof clinic has been accused of organising the unauthorised circumcisions of 40 pupils.

FILE: The offices of Gauteng Department of Health. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Health Department says it's investigating apparent plans to circumcise 40 boys from the Noordgesig Primary School at the Fleurhof Clinic in Roodepoort.

Protests broke out earlier this week with parents accusing the clinic and school's principal of running illegal operations after they enquired about the children's whereabouts.

The department's Steve Mabona has confirmed that the clinic was contracted by local NGO Right Care to perform male circumcisions under an HIV prevention programme.

"Right to Care supports the department on circumcision. We are investigating circumstances surrounding the site incident and working with our Department of Education, we will release the outcome of our investigation in due course."

Right to Care says it has terminated an agreement with the clinic and that they were unaware of the incident.

In a statement the organisation insists that primary school children are not within their specified recruitment age.

Noordgesig Primary School circumcision incident - the Right to Care facts:

  1. The Fleurhof clinic where the primary school children went to for circumcisions is not a Right to Care site. It belongs to a private practitioner. Right to Care did not recruit the children nor provide transport. This was arranged by the private practitioner.

  1. Right to Care helps to implement medical male circumcision (MMC) through training and technical assistance provided to private practitioners.

  1. When Right to Care became aware of the incident, it immediately suspended support of the Fleurhof clinic and investigated the matter.

  1. All circumcisions that were done at the site were done properly. All boys are healthy. The issues were the private practitioner's poor administration, poor communication and poor planning.

  1. We support the concerns of the parents. Children should not have been recruited from primary schools for circumcisions.