Algeria: infant circumcision complications raise alarm

Especially for undiagnosed hemophiliac children

15 July, 13:22

    Algeria, warning against unsafe circumcisions Algeria, warning against unsafe circumcisions

    (by Diego Minuti) (ANSAmed) - ROME, JULY 15 - Non-compliance with Algerian health ministry instructions on infant circumcision has led to very high risks to children.

    Children who suffer from hemophilia, a hereditary disease that affects male children more often than female children, but that have not yet been diagnosed with it are at especially high risk. The Quran does not specifically mention circumcision, but it is mentioned in the hadith and the sunnah and is thus considered obligatory within eight days of birth, according to most interpretations. Some 13 children suffered serious health problems after circumcision in 2007 in El Khroub, near Constantine. Every year in Algeria, due to circumcisions during the month of Ramadan, most of the children who die are operated with parents being unaware that they are hemophiliacs. Experts are concerned that circumcision is rarely preceded by exams ascertaining the health of the children. One of the major concerns is circumcision not carried out by surgeons following ministerial protocol, which calls for a series of exams prior to the operation. Many people opt not to go to doctors but others who may carry out the operation as well but who do not have the tools to ascertain whether the child is at risk. Doctor Meriem Benseddouk, hematologist from the Beni-Messous polyclinic, has launched an appeal in a forum of the daily El Moudjahid, so that circumcision be carried out later than in the first few days after birth. The disorder is found at the age in which children begin to walk and fall down, with consequent bruising. Hematologists also say that exams to check whether a child is a hemophiliac is not costly and can be carried out in public and private laboratories. The idea of setting a minimum age has been aired. (ANSAmed)

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