"Tohara" Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Campaign
Research has shown that voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) is a safe and effective method of reducing a man’s risk of acquiring HIV by approximately 60%. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) endorsed VMMC as an HIV prevention strategy in 2007.
Tanzania initiated its VMMC program through a collaborative process, involving international partners (WHO and UNAIDS), that resulted in the establishment of the Male Circumcision Technical Working Group (MCTWG), which acts as an advisory body for the Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW). The MCTWG conducted a series of situational analyses on male circumcision in communities and in health facilities in Tanzania. These analyses revealed that men in Tanzania showed high acceptability for VMMC in both circumcising and non-circumcising communities, and that in fact men showed a higher preference for medical circumcision rather than the traditional circumcision method due to better hygienic conditions and the greater likelihood of preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Based on these findings, Jhpiego, the US Department of Defense, and the International Center for AIDS Programs conducted three VMMC service delivery pilots in Tanzania. The outcomes of these pilots fed into the development of the National Strategy for Scaling Up Male Circumcision (2010-2015). This proposed delivering VMMC services to adolescents and men ages 10-34 in eight priority regions, selected for their low circumcision rates and high HIV prevalence. The priority regions were Iringa, Kagera, Mara (Rorya district only), Mbeya, Mwanza, Rukwa, Shinyanga, and Tabora.