: Factors associated with acceptability of Neonatal Circumcision among mothers attending ANC in Lusaka

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Kazilimani, Nalukui
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Introduction: Neonatal circumcision is known to have a number of advantages social and health related. The main objective of this study was to assess acceptability of Neonatal male circumcision (NMC) among mothers and to explore the reasons for their decision, negative or positive. It was also to enlist factors associated with the decision. methods and materials: This was a cross sectional descriptive study. The data collection tool was a survey questionnaire. The study was conducted at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) situated in Lusaka and was administered to 559 expectant mothers attending antenatal clinic. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors that were associated with acceptability of Nmc.Results: Of the mothers interviewed, the average age was 28 years (range 15-44 years). Findings showed that Nmc is moderately acceptable among mothers with at least 3 out of the 5 (60.5%) intending to take the neonates for the procedure if it turned out to be a boy. The main reasons for positive Nmc decision were health related and include genital hygiene, protection against diseases such as cancers, STI, and HIV. A number of mothers (19.3%) however had intentions of taking their sons for circumcision later on in life, citing pain and the infant being too young for postponing the procedure. Those with negative intentions for Nmc cited pain, and fear of complications as their main reasons against the procedure. Factors associated with decision for Nmc identified in the study include circumcision status of the child’s father, father’s consent, and knowledge and awareness of perceived risks. Religious and cultural beliefs was not identified an associated factor in this study. Knowledge and awareness of benefits of Nmc in general was not identified as an associated factor to decision for Nmc. However a relationship was noted between knowledge and awareness of hygiene as an advantage of Nmc and intention for Nmc. Knowledge and awareness about the benefits of Nmc was however observed to be an important starting point in decision for Nmc though high knowledge was not necessarily associated with positive intentions for Nmc. A relationship however was noted between information provided by health workers and decision for or against Nmc. Results also reveal that there are some mothers who prefer Nmc to be done in a traditional set up (12.3%).Conclusions and Recommendations: It has been seen in this study that acceptability for Nmc among mothers is moderately high, and that they are willing to take their children for Male Circumcision mainly for health reasons. Awareness of Nmc services and knowledge about Nmc is generally high, however a knowledge gap on the risks of Nmc and on the specific benefits of conducting circumcision in the neonatal period has been noted. It is recommended that Information dissemination be more comprehensive and balanced. Also more Mc advocacy interventions need to be targeted not only at mothers but also at fathers since they are critical in the final decision for or against Nmc. There is also need to provide support to circumcisions conducted in traditional set ups.  
: Neonatal Circumcision , Male Circumcision