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Fiji Time: 11:38 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Ministry probes botched surgery

Friday, January 04, 2008

THE Ministry of Health is investigating reports that medical authorities on Koro botched the circumcision of eight boys on the island.

This follows complaints by parents that the primary school students had to undergo painful re-circumcisions after questionable initial operations at the Koro Health Centre.

Aporosa Kaunisela said he had to take his 13-year-old son for a second operation as the boy's foreskin had not been totally removed and the wound had not healed despite the procedure having been conducted almost three weeks ago.

Usually the healing process takes about 10 days.

The primary school student was one of 18 boys circumcised on the island.

Kaunisela said the doctors had charged $10 per circumcision.

He said the island's male nurse re-circumcised about eight boys after the doctor left for Suva.

"My son is in agony right now. By now he should have healed,'' said the concerned parent.

"This has never happened before to us. We believe that doctor that carried out the circumcisions was not experienced enough to have done it,'' said Kaunisela.

Director of Curative Health Services Dr Margaret Cornelius confirmed the ministry was investigating the complaint.

She said complications like infections may occur at times when the circumcision is done under other conditions such as in a clinic or health centre under local anaesthesia.

She said that only trained health workers were authorised to carry out this procedure.