GIBSON Chamba is annoyed. Annoyed that his decision to go under a clinical officer's knife and perform one important ritual - circumcision - has brought him pain and anguish.

Chamba, 23, is lying in agony in Solwezi General Hospital nursing a 4-centimeter wound on his manhood after a botched circumcision operation by a male nurse at Luamala Clinic in chief Mulonga's area in Solwezi East constituency.

And Chamba's uncle is not taking sorry for an apology. Chamba's uncle has threatened to take legal action against the Ministry of Health for alleged negligence on his nephew by a named male nurse.

Narrating from his bed the circumstances leading up to his hospitalisation in Zambezi ward where he has been from 2nd January, 2, 2010 Chamba, says he together with a friend went to enquire about circumcision from Luamala Clinic.

He says they were attended to by a male nurse, who told them that he was qualified to carry out circumcision operations.

Chamba further tells them that instead of going to Solwezi General Hospital where the clinical officer alleged they could be charged up to K250,000 as adults; he could perform the operation at only K50,000 per person. The paltry figure and the opportunity of saving some hard-earned money made the duo fall for it.

Chamba together with his friend then went to look for the money after which they paid the male nurse K30,000 each on December 26, 2009. They were then told to report the following day for the operation but they allegedly found the nurse drunk and so refrained from going ahead with the process even after he assured them that he could do it.

Chamba and his friend then returned to the clinic on December 28; and he was the first to be operated on.

According to Chamba, instead of removing the foreskin as per standard procedure, the male nurse cut way beyond and went up to 4cm -as documented by the medical report - round the shaft of the private part, leaving him in excruciating pain and heavy bleeding. After seeing the manner in which Chamba was 'circumcised', his friend got scared and refused to do the exercise.

Chamba, who was visibly emaciated from his ordeal, recounted that despite apparently administering the wrong procedure and the resultant effect, the male nurse only gave him some materials to soak the oozing blood and insisted that he could go home and would recover after three days.

At home, he says the bleeding continued with instances of dizziness and fitting. Realising his life could be in danger, Chamba's relatives then took him back to the clinic where the same male nurse tried to calm him about his worsening condition and strongly discouraged him from considering going for advanced attention from Solwezi General Hospital fearing that his messed-up operation would be exposed.

This however, did little to convince Chamba's relatives from not seeking further help and were eager to help alleviate his agony. They then organised their own transport to take him to the Hospital where he was admitted from January 2 and has remained there since.

And Chamba's uncle, Kabaila Sachiyana, says in spite of the family already reporting the case to the police, they are further going to take the Ministry of Health to court because the injury to his nephew was carried out by their employee at a government clinic.

"We are going to take the matter to court because my nephew has sustained a very serious injury to his manhood; he could even have died from his bleeding at home. We are doing that because that nurse was not supposed to carry out the operation. We went as far as the Provincial Nursing Officer; even he said the male nurse is not qualified to do circumcision operations," says Sachiyana.
Hospital authorities in Solwezi referred all queries to the ministry headquarters.

Sachiyana said people will become fearful of going for circumcision with such experiences coming up.
"The Ministry of Health is busy advertising that people should go for circumcision but they are letting people who are not capable to handle the operations. People will stop going for these circumcisions," he said.

Sachiyana further insisted that despite them as family taking the matter to the police against the male nurse on the charge of unlawful wounding; the ministry should take strong action themselves against him and bear the expenses that the family is incurring in caring for his nephew since the messed up operation.