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October 1, 2014 11:22 pm

South African Group Threatens to Bar Nurses From Using Israeli Circumcision Device

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Flag of South Africa. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), an ally group of the country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party and a proponent of the movement to boycott Israel, is protesting South Africa’s consideration of approving an Israeli-developed circumcision device.

“We have a problem that the device comes from Israel. We need to boycott everything that comes from that pariah state,” Sizwe Pamla, a spokesman for a public sector union that is part of COSATU, told Reuters.

Many South Africans undergo traditional circumcision as a right of passage to manhood, especially in the Xhosa culture, but many die as a result of blood loss or infection caused by the procedure. The South African government is studying the Israeli device, PrePex, to determine whether to officially sanction its use in the country.

PrePex, developed by the Israeli company Circ MedTech, is a non-surgical and disposable device that has been endorsed by the World Health Organization. PrePex is being used in several other African nations such as Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.

The device has not yet been used in South African hospitals. If the country approves the device, COSATU-affiliated nurses will refuse to perform circumcision procedures with it, Pamla said.

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