An Istanbul-based international aid group has provided free circumcision for 1,000 male children in The Gambia, the group said on Thursday.
The circumcisions were carried out for three days assisted by volunteer doctors from Turkey, said a statement by the aid group, called the Diversity Relief Foundation.
Ibrahim Gurkan, the NGO’s Gambia representative, said that most people in Gambia cannot afford safe circumcision.
“Circumcision with local methods is very painful and unhealthy. This can pose serious risks to children in the future,” Gurkan said.
Famara Jobarteh, a local official, also expressed his appreciation for the generous aid.
“If everyone was as helpful as the Turks, there would be no problems in the world,” he added.
Experts have said circumcision can dramatically reduce the threat of transmission of the HIV virus. An estimated 60-70 percent of people with HIV worldwide live in sub-Saharan Africa.