Previously, with little scientific evidence to back it up, male circumcision was largely viewed as the preserve of select cultural and religious groupings of Malawi, but not anymore.
Studies have been carried out, experiments conducted and research done on the benefits of male circumcision to both the individual and society at large. We do not want to repeat the story of the devastation wrought upon societies by Aids and the associated costs of treating the disease, but we are calling on the Ministry of Health to scale-up the exercise, first and foremost with messages reaching a cross-section of Malawians on the benefits.
As one of our stories in this edition points out, Malawi is lagging behind in circumcising its sexually active males for the sake of their health. One of the benefits of going under the knife is said to be reduced risk of contracting HIVand other sexually-transmitted infections.
Now, this should not be misconstrued to mean that circumcision is the be all and end all in the fight against HIV. The key message in this fight remains the same, to be faithful to one sexual partner. But then if circumcision helps, then by all means it should be embraced.
Sadly, only 15,000 men have gone under the knife since September last year in a programme ending 2016 and targeting 2.1 million males.
This is against the background of 10 percent of the population being affected by HIVand Aids, and where infection rates are among the highest in the world.
Based on research elsewhere, we want to drum more support for the benefits of circumcision and encourage more males to go for this exercise in order to better protect themselves, in whatever little way, against infection.
The Ministry of Health is targeting approximately 2.1 million sexually active men. This is obviously not a small feat to achieve, but for the exercise to be successful, it needs the concerted effort of everyone, especially the males who are directly affected and can influence society on this issue.
We also urge health authorities to continue civic educating everyone in this country on the importance of this exercise. While sniping in Malawi has previously been seen as only a religious and traditional rite of passage, we must push that it must be foremost taken as a national health issue.
So we urge the men out there: Go for it!