Home » News » News Roundup » Circumcision can be fatal

Circumcision can be fatal

A doctor has warned that the simple “rite of passage” through circumcision among young boys can be fatal.

“Faulty circumcision could really cause death, if the wound gets infected,” said Dr. Katha Ngo, an infectious disease specialist from the Manila Medical Center.

“If it is left untreated, yes, it could lead to severe infection. Any infection that is left untreated could lead to serious infection, which can cause death if it is neglected,” Ngo added.

Ngo noted that a clear sign of infection from circumcision is “pangangamatis” or the appearance of redness on the wound almost similar to tomatoes. “It can really get infected as seen with a swollen testis or scrotum,” she said.
Ngo said that after the surgical removal, the open wound can get infected, thus, proper treatment and care are important to prevent the onset of infection.

According to Department of Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean Ubial, infection is likely to happen when there is a growth of bacteria around the wound due to improper cleansing and lack of proper treatment.

“If it is left untreated, yes, it could lead to severe infection. Any infection that is left untreated could lead to serious infection, which can cause death if it is neglected,” replied Ngo when asked what will be the possible consequence of lack of proper treatment.

As an advice, medical experts said that proper wound cleaning, taking of the prescribed medications should be followed.

Ngo said that as much as possible, it is best to do away from the “traditional way” of performing it because there are a lot of equipped medical institutions that can do the proper procedure and at the same give the proper advice on proper wound healing so that this particular “rite of passage” will not be a bitter pill that is hard to swallow.

“Why not ask medical experts to perform the procedure instead?” she asked.

Circumcision is being performed because it is believed to be helpful in preventing infections of the urinary tract and the foreskin, as well as lowering the risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases.

It is also considered a Filipino tradition – a rite of passage or an initiation into a new status which is manhood.

In the past and even nowadays, the traditional way of circumcision is conducted by quack doctors with a razor and guava leaves chewed by the patient to be applied on the wound because of its supposed antibacterial compounds that work well for healing of skin infections and even surgical wounds.

The boy is told to wash off in the cold waters of a nearby river and to apply the chewed guava leaves on the wound to help it heal.

Several years ago, some organizations and even politicians include this in their medical mission by inviting doctors and other health workers to perform this kind of circumcision in their targeted areas whose residents cannot afford the cost of having it done in the hospital or clinic. (with PNA) (CHARINA CLARISSE L. ECHALUCE)

comments
  • “Rite of passage” is a cultural belief invented to defend the practice. Forcing circumcision on others is really the adults’ unrecognized compulsion to repeat the trauma and harm that was done to them. What’s done to children, they will do to
    society. Adults are overdue to evaluate circumcision on its merits and not blindly
    conform to what has been done before. The evidence is overwhelming that
    circumcision is physically, sexually, and psychologically harmful with no proven benefits. May courage overcome conformity.