Original Research

Exploring factors influencing integration of traditional and medical male circumcision methods at Ingquza Hill Local Municipality, Eastern Cape: A socio-ecological perspective

Sandile Prusente, Nelisiwe Khuzwayo, Yandisa Sikweyiya
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 11, No 1 | a1948 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v11i1.1948 | © 2019 Sandile Prusente, Nelisiwe Khuzwayo, Yandisa Sikweyiya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 September 2018 | Published: 06 August 2019

About the author(s)

Sandile Prusente, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Nelisiwe Khuzwayo, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Yandisa Sikweyiya, Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa; and, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Medical male circumcision (MMC) and traditional male circumcision (TMC) are reportedly having negative and positive outcomes in the Eastern Cape province. Researchers show contradictory remedies; some advocate for abolishment of TMC and others call for the integration of both methods.

Aim: This study aimed to explore factors influencing the integration of TMC and MMC at different socio-ecological levels.

Setting: The study was conducted at Ingquza Hill Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape province.

Methods: An explorative qualitative study design, using in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs), was employed in this study. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants. A framework analysis approach was used to analyse the data, and the themes were developed in line with the socio-ecological model.

Results: Four main themes emerged from the data as important in influencing the integration of TMC and MMC methods. These included: (1) individual factors, related to circumcision age eligibility and post-circumcision behaviour; (2) microsystem factors, related to alcohol and drug abuse, peer pressure, abuse of initiates, and family influence; (3) exosystem factors, related to financial gains associated with circumcision and the role of community forums; and (4) macrosystem factors, related to stigma and discrimination, and male youth dominance in circumcision practices.

Conclusion: Male circumcision in this area is influenced by complex factors at multiple social levels. Interventions directed at all of these levels are urgently needed to facilitate integration of the TMC and MMC methods.


male circumcision; social acceptance; discrimination; health; culture


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