Imbalu candidates dancing as they prepare to undergo circumcision
in Mbale recently.
The first phase of the 2014 imbalu season has ended without registering any serious complaints, Augustine Wandende, the chairman of the Culture Council of Inzu Ya Masaaba, announced.
The circumcision of boys, which kicked off with boys who are not in school on August 19 at Mutoto Cultural grounds, Mbale, ended with Bunambutye sub-county in Bulambuli district on September 5.
The last phase that will close the season will start as soon as schools break off for the third term holidays and will involve school-going boys.
Joseph Wanda, a local surgeon, umukhebi, says he has circumcised 52 boys this season in several sub-counties. He estimates that about 6,000 boys have so far undergone the ritual in Bugisu sub-region in the districts of Mbale, Sironko, Bududa, Manafwa and Bulambuli.
Wanda, however, regrets the incidents in Lukhonje sub-county in Mbale district, where local surgeons fought over candidates in four homesteads. But, luckily, the concerned parents sorted the matter.
“The problem arose when parents or candidates contacted more than one local surgeon and several ended up converging at the home leading to quarrels and fights,” Wanda explained.
Mbale district assistant health officer, Jennifer Wandawa and a source at Mbale Hospital says they have not yet got any cases of badly circumcised boys who require correctional medical attention.
Wandawa attributes it to intensive sensitisation of the local surgeons and radio programmes by the health department targeting imbalu candidates and their parents before the official launch of the imbalu season.
Wandawa says medical workers sensitised local surgeons about good hygiene to avoid the risk of tetanus and HIV.
“We are strict with the policy of one knife one candidate,” Wandawa added.