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Abt-led Namibia Project Exceeds Goal for Male Circumcisions


  • Namibia’s male circumcision rate is lower than the target for epidemic control.
  • An Abt-led program increased the circumcision rate through capacity building, demand creation, and community mobilization.
  • The program exceeded its target of 250,000 circumcisions, achieving 270,000 by March 2024.
The Challenge

VMMC is an integral component of the Government of the Republic of Namibia’s prevention approach to ending HIV and AIDS. Despite significant effort, VMMC coverage remains low. The population-based self-reported circumcision rate is 36.4 percent among males aged 15 to 64. This is significantly less than the recommended 80 percent target to achieve public health impact on epidemic control. Namibia needs to sustain the gains and scale up activities to reach its HIV prevention goals.

The Approach

The goal of the Abt-led Namibia SAFE Activity was to provide a comprehensive VMMC service package to 250,000 boys and men by 2024. By March 2023, the Activity exceeded that goal and reached 270,000 circumcisions. The Activity continues to strengthen national policies, quality improvement systems, service demand, and the Ministry of Health and Social Services planning and management capacity. The Activity engages the private and public sectors and partners with national and regional VMMC teams to promote the uptake of VMMC services and provide the national VMMC coordination team mentoring and technical support.

The Results

So far, the country has achieved VMMC coverage of 64 percent among males aged 15–29. The Activity reached the 270,000 circumcisions milestone in March 2023. Apart from reducing the risk for men of contracting HIV by 60 percent in comparison with uncircumcised men, VMMC benefits women by improving hygiene, lowering the risk for sexually transmitted infections, and reducing the risk of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) associated with cervical cancer.