In Kenya, circumcision is a deeply ingrained part of the country’s cultural fabric. A boy who isn’t able to get the procedure can often feel ostracised by his peers—and even by his own family. The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program is literally changing the lives of boys with bleeding disorders in Kenya by providing much needed factor to hospitals so that they can be safely circumcised.
Circumcision is a common procedure in Africa. In Kenya—which has the largest population that undergoes the procedure in the continent—it is taken very seriously from a cultural standpoint, and has considerable societal implications. As explained by urologist David Kiamani, MD, from Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi: “[Circumcision] is considered a rite of passage to move from a boy to a man… you need it to enjoy the benefits of being an elder, to allow you to marry…” Alice Waswa, the mother of a 10-year-old boy with hemophilia, affirms the ramifications of not getting the procedure: she has to hide the fact that her son is uncircumcised to avoid him being ostracised by his friends. Her son would normally have been circumcised at his age, and that nearly all of his peers have had the procedure.
The WFH Humanitarian Aid Program is helping to change this situation in Kenya. The Program is very active in the country: in 2019, the Program facilitated the donation of nearly 6 million IUs of factor. Since 2015, the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program has provided nearly 17 million IUs of factor to Kenya. This factor has allowed hospitals in the country to treat acute bleeds and impact the lives of children with hemophilia. Now, the Program is also making safe circumcision possible.