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6 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS


NHS urged to offer circumcisions


Passion Islam I August 2010


‘We don’t have cash to tackle all threats’


UK minister


British Defence Secretary Liam Fox issued a renewed warning that Britain could no longer afford to protect itself from all possible future threats.


In an interview with the Daily


Senior doctors have called for male circumcision to be offered by the NHS amid fears that unregulated operations are leading to serious injuries among Muslim boys. A number of public health specialists have urged the health service to overturn its ban on such operations after an investigation into circumcisions performed at an Islamic school in Oxford found that 13 out of 32 boys who had the procedure – at an average age of six – ended up with medical problems. Three endured what a new research paper describes as “incomplete circumcision” at the hands of an overseas-qualified doctor who only had six months of basic surgical training. They also ended up with urethral scarring or a haematoma – a build up of blood that results from internal bleeding – or both. Six had to be treated in hospital for complications related to their circumcision, and two had to undergo the procedure for a second time. Ten of the 13 needed to take a course of antibiotics. Writing in the UK Faculty of Public


Health’s Journal of Public Health, the study’s co-authors, Dr Karthikeyan Paranthaman and two fellow public health doctors in Oxford, concluded: “This incident highlights the harm associated with circumcision in young children by unregulated operators due to lack of compliance with best surgical and infection control guidance. There is an urgent need for commissioning circumcision


services for religious reasons in the NHS.”


In 2006 the three specialists undertook an inquiry for the Thames Valley Health Protection Unit into unregulated circumcisions after an Oxford GP alerted them to a young patient. The procedures were carried out in the library of a faith school, they discovered. They listed a series of concerns about the way the operations were carried out. The General Medical Council banned the doctor involved from performing more circumcisions after it learned of the harm done to the boys.


The Oxford case was not an isolated incident, however. Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust in east London began offering the operation to families who sought it for religious and cultural reasons in 2005 after some children were harmed in non-NHS procedures. “It was set up due to community need, and also to counter occasional children presenting at local accident and emergency departments with infections and other problems associated with unregulated operations,” said trust spokesman Tim Carter.


The boys of parents who are registered with a GP in the borough can have the operation when they are aged between six weeks and five months. Parents are charged £120- £150. More than 900 boys have been circumcised by the Trust since the service began five years ago.


Telegraph newspaper, he said the military was facing a series of “really hard choices” in the forthcoming strategic defence and security review, with some existing capabilities facing the axe. “We don’t have the money as a country to protect ourselves against every potential future threat. We just don’t have it,” he said. “It is really difficult and we will have to make really hard choices.” He said that, in future, the Armed Forces would have to concentrate on preparing to meet “realistic potential future threats.”


He confirmed that British troops stationed in Germany was an area where savings could be found. He suggested that he would like the Royal Navy to have more warships, acquiring cheaper, less sophisticated vessels rather than state-of-the-art ships like the Type 45 destroyer.


The minister also indicated that he would like to find savings by reducing the number of different types of aircraft in the RAF’s transport fleet.


Tahira Foods helps young offenders during Ramadhan


Tahira Foods Europe’s leading Halal brand have linked with the Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) to ensure that young offenders do not feel forgotten during Ramadan. They are sending gift packs to over 4,000 Muslim prisoners during the festival.


The Prison Campaign – now in its seventh year - is dedicated to raising awareness of the special needs and conditions of Muslim prisoners, assisting them while they are in prison and helping them re-engage with society and the community when they are released.


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