VMMC: Can the Momentum and Investment be Sustained?

July 14, 2015

While there has been considerable momentum in the scale up voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) over the last 2 to 3 years, many VMMC programs are currently facing serious financial resource challenges.

Many priority countries are now in a critical place where they are making considerations for transitioning from the “catch up” phase to the sustainability stage in order to maintain the long-term public health gains of VMMC, against the backdrop of declining financial resources.

As part of their ongoing webinar series on VMMC, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in collaboration with the World Bank Group provided updates on some of these considerations through a webinar titled “Maintaining HIV Prevention Benefits of Male Circumcision by Incorporating VMMC Into Routine Newborn And Adolescent Health Service Delivery”. In this webinar (audio and slides are available at this link), speakers covered several issues including integrating VMMC into existing health systems, human resources needs, long-term client age scenarios, sustainable financing options among other considerations.

These are important conversations to have now, and advocates, implementers, funders and policy makers need to focus on sustained investment in VMMC and particularly close monitoring to keep programs on track.