During my Btech studies last year, my thesis was titled “Media reports on genital mutilation: a case of male circumcision schools in South Africa,” which I had to do a lot of researching and go into the depth of circumcision from the early years. This is when I found out that the surgical part of the circumcision is not the cause of many death cases, but rather the infections due to poor dressing during the time of healing.
According to the World Health Organisation statistics, voluntary medical circumcision in South Africa and Southern Africa has increased rapidly. Last year, about 482 000 men opted for medical circumcision in South Africa, compared with just more than 5 000 in 2008 and as the volunteers’ number increases, the death stats also does.
Soweto-born Musa Morgan, 23, brings males’ miseries to an end by inventing the “Uyindoda MMC underpants”, which is a garment that comes with a soft adjustable casing to avoid irritation after circumcision. The garment was authorized by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology after a pilot project in the Western Cape showed a success rate of 98%.
Dr Howard Manyonga, Chief Operating Officer at Marie Stopes, which carries out voluntary circumcision, said the dressing used at the moment was often problematic.
“We use very simple dressing and tape, and experience challenges with it. So, we salute this young man for seeing the need to use this space to innovate lifesaving designs, “he said.
Mohamad Bentham, 29, described the underwear as a vivid idea. He also added that it made his few days of recovery manageable since most people would not know what to wear that will not temper with the healing of their wound.
The semi-finalist at the Gauteng Accelerator Programme has already planned his next move to implement this gift to the people.
Our next step is to get the Department of Health on board and, ultimately we want to encourage the use of the product also for the traditional circumcision. We would even consider giving it out for free because of how it helps with the healing process. We don’t want to interfere with tradition, but feel it could have a big impact there.
Lately, there have been a lot of inventions in the ICT and Technology space and I see this as the next product after Bertin Nahum’s Rosa. This would save thousands of lives, if only the health department as well as the South African government sees it the same way we do.