The world’s first penis transplant


The recent report of successful penis transplant in South Africa is very reassuring as it is an indication of further medical advancement and confirmation that Africa is stamping giant marks in the medical strides being taken by the whole world.

Professor Andre van der Merwe, head of the urology division at Stellenbosch University and his staff reportedly carried out a successful penis transplant at Tygerberg hospital in Cape Town, South Africa after nine hours of surgery. This feat is the first of its kind in the world.

The operation was done on a 21- year- old patient whose original penis was mistakenly amputated 3 years ago during a traditional initiation ceremony among the Xhosa of South Africa that requires young male adults to be circumcised. The young man’s body did not reject the new penis, which was taken from a deceased donor. He is said to have recovered the physical use of his new penis and is psychologically stable. Presently there are nine other youths in line for the same operation. Recall that this is the second time South Africa has done the continent proud by being first in the world to perform a medical exploit. In 1967, Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first heart transplant at Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town.

Apparently, this kind of high profile medical endeavour can only be carried out in an environment where there is the political will to make it happen as well as sustainable, functional, result oriented institutions that are worth emulating. Perhaps Nigerian government needs to take a cue from this erstwhile unthinkable undertaking, as South Africa is gradually becoming another attractive medical tourism destination.

Circumcision among ethnic communities in Africa is certainly seen as a physical and psychological test, which is essential to a man’s standing in the society. But it is instructive that such group be conscious of the need to adopt information that will help to continuously make their culture attractive. Indeed people all over the world need to realize that culture should be dynamic. Presently, there is a new, non-surgical method of carrying out male circumcision that has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Bearing in mind the importance of adult male circumcision among some African ethnic groups, people endorsed as custodians of the mystical essence of circumcision should be taught this method to avoid situations where young men will be condemned to a life of agony when circumcision that is supposed to be part of the initiation into manhood goes awry.

Daily Independent news – culled from:


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