Circumcision is the removal of a simple fold of skin (the foreskin) that covers the head of the un-erect penis. In Limpopo, Africans have an ancient initiation practice intended to prepare young males for responsibilities attached to manhood. In line with the principles of the initiation, the traditional circumcision is usually done on the Mountains.

Although there is no accurate statistics available on the number of complications, amputations, infections or even deaths, The Provincial Nutrition Manager; Mr Daddy Matthews believes that a right balanced diet when on traditional circumcision rituals is key in the healing process. Daddy also advised that intake of at-least 8 glasses of water a day or 2 litters will be adequate in prevention of dehydration.

According to Daddy Matthews, for the initiates to withstand the cold, consuming the required amount of food that contributes to their energy such as carbohydrates, which are porridge, samp, bread, and rice, will enable them to withstand and cope with the cold during winter

Secondly vitamin A, which can be found in green-leafy as well as yellow-leafy vegetables such as spinach, pumpkin, butternut, broccoli, morogo/muroho, will assist in the wound healing faster. Traditional meat such as mala-mogodu/magulu Iron (Fe) will also contribute to blood production in the body for those who lost too much blood. Consumption of such foods will go a long way in assisting the wound-healing process.

“It is unfortunate that those performing traditional circumcisions are not always exposed to such nutritional requirements and at times initiates do not consume fruits which contribute towards minerals and vitamins which are needed by the body in small quantities to further assist in wound healing” announced Daddy Matthews.

The Department of Health Limpopo encourages all uncircumcised citizens to perform Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) at their nearest Hospital and abstain from any sexual activities for a specified period or as stated by the Medical practitioner in order to allow healing.

By: Zaid Kalla