Another day had come, when the school doctor would offer counseling to the adolescent-dominated school. They deserved what the administrators regarded as counseling sessions. Learners would be equipped with health tips of the week from their health prefect and school doctor or nurse. Most students regarded the counseling day as “The Doctor’s Day”. Dr Mbogo was known to be a quiet man by the staff and students had nicknamed him Dr Shy.
The session was scheduled for every Monday. All students were expected to attend this ever afternoon session. The National Anthem was sung followed by Greenfield Secondary School’s Ever Green Anthem.
“I’m happy to address you today, after your health prefect.” Dr. Mbogo began as anxious juvenile faces looked at him. Some must have admired his profession, given his exceptionally white coat and the stethoscope. The administrators and the teaching staff sat behind him as he stood facing students in the school’s conference hall.
“Last week our topic was Abortion and its consequences.” He said, courteously. “We resolved that you’ve to practice abstinence as a way of not falling victim.”
The head teacher and some staff members nodded with approval before he went on, “Today’s topic is, Circumcision as a tool for fighting HIV/AIDS spread.” The learners’ applause predicted a great interest in the topic.
“Silence,” the doctor spoke with calm as he looked at learners through a pair of spectacles that rested on his flat, wide nose. There was a pause. “It has been globally approved that circumcision is one way to fight and reduce HIV/AIDS spread. During intercourse, friction causes the fore-skin to get torn. This gives way for virginal fluids to access blood capillaries.” Some learners looked down, others mumbled with excitement. “If the woman is infected, the man is prone to the infection. However, if he’s circumcised, there’s no foreskin and no tearing occurring from friction during intercourse.
“This session is to call upon every male student here to get circumcised. It’s also to urge all of you to sensitize parents so that your brothers and male relatives get circumcised. Be ambassadors of the fight against this pandemic. Any male who is not circumcised stands a very high risk of getting infected.”
The whole assembly looked amazed and amidst murmurs, the health prefect put up her hand. The fourteen-year old was always hailed by her courage to ask questions during such sessions –the reason she was elected health prefect.
“Rukundo has a question! Let’s listen”, the head teacher spoke loudly from his seat.
“Thank you our dear head teacher and the staff present,” she began, observing protocol before facing the doctor, who stood by the podium in his distinct white coat with the stethoscope resting on his chest. “Doctor, I’m a little worried about what you’ve told us. You say we should sensitize our parents for our brothers to get circumcised. You say any uncircumcised male stands a very high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. But Doctor, my question is; how comes you are not circumcised?”
Dr. Shy removed his spectacles instantly; turned to look at the staff. The head teacher had sprung up in utter shock. The doctor’s notebook fell, he bent to pick it with a shaky hand and the stethoscope fell too. His face was wet with sweat. The school nurse was agape and thought it was only her within the school who knew about it. Stares from some young girls in the audience who nodded with approval of Rukondo’s question, betrayed him. When he rushed for the exit, the Director of Studies and the Senior Woman Teacher were a blockade.