Kenya National Male Circumcision task force and players in the Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision have launched a pilot study to lure men within 24-49 years to circumcision. The initiative is aimed at circumcising male adults.
The awareness will start at greater Nyando before being rolled out to other parts of the region. The initiative will also provide food incentives, cash and shopping vouchers to families of those willing to be circumcised to entice more men to be circumcised.
Project director Kawango Agot said researchers will map out the village and provide volunteers with consent form that is upgraded to voucher or cash after they avail themselves for circumcision.
The intervention dubbed “Compensation for Transport, Cost and Lost Wages” associated with VMMC is being undertaken by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Impact Research and Development Organisation.
The study will evaluate whether compensating men for transport cost and the wages they will lose for three days following circumcision, will result in more men volunteering for circumcision.
Kisumu county director of health, Ojwang Lusi said the intervention was arrived at following reports that many young men refuse to be circumcised because of fear of losing income in the three days they are healing.
The new program will target a group of boda boda operators to see if providing a stipend for three days will encourage more men to get circumcised.
“Two reasons men aged 25 years give for not getting circumcised are the cost of transport to clinic, and possibility of not being able to work afterwards. The purpose of this randomised controlled trial is to determine whether offering those men modest food vouchers to compensate them will make them get circumcised,” said Lusi during the launch at the weekend.
The initiative was given a go-ahead by the county ethics review committees in February 2013. The first phase of the study listed 7,800 households in nine sub-locations under the study, of which 1,800 men were randomly selected to participate.