Mass Circumcision 2017
- Written by Aqilah Faaiqah
- Year 1 YLLSOM Medical Student
Circumcision is one of the biggest milestone in a Muslim boy's life - symbolizing their purification and obedience to Allah. However, fulfilling this religious obligation can be a costly affair for financially disadvantaged families; a struggle which was reconized by the kind people of MHPA, MUIS and Jamiyah.
In their 7 year of runnign the Annual Charity Mass Circumcision on 26 November 2017, 60 boys underwent the procedure for absolutely no charge. It was an eye-opening experience to journey through the process with the child as student volunteers from the three medical schools of Singapore accompanied each child throughout the nerve-wrecking wait.
Through assisting in recording the patient's history and conducting physical examinations prior to the surgery, the Medical student volunteers were able to learn how a child's medical history can affect the risk of the surgery and how an individual's social background can be determine how they manage their health.
Behind the curtains of the operating theatre, volunteers had a thrilling and unique learning experience as we observed and/or assited in the surgery - a first time for most of us. It was the perfect opportunity to not only mentally revise our anatomy and pick up surgical skills, but to also empathize with the piercing cries of the children. It was heartening to see the volunteers constantly reassuring the patients by the bedside- and some even sang for the patients to distract them from ordeal of down below!
What made this year's event particulary special was that we were joined by 24 healthcare professionals and students from Cambodia who were paired with their Singaporean counterparts to learn how the event was organized and the significance of the workflow. We were gobsmacked that some of the Medical students from Cambodia have performd over a hundred circumcisions back in their homeland as the thoroughly believe in learning through hands-on practice.
Alhamdulilah, this valuable learning experience which was both medically and culturally enriching would not have been possible without the generosity of the donors and hard work of the doctors, nurses and volunteers. This serves as a great reminder that the collective effort of a small group of dedicated individuals can have a massive impact on the community's well-being at large.