The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed of another case of circumcision gone wrong, involving a 10-year-old boy who was circumcised in a mass circumcision ceremony at a surau near his home on 25 November, 2016. The attending assistant medical officer severed a portion of the boy's penis.

According to health director-general Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement, the boy was brought to the Emergency Department at the Selayang Hospital two days after the procedure.

The parents had noticed bleeding from the circumcision wound, with urine being passed from a coronal fistula on the distal penile shaft due to an injury to the urethra.

Upon examination at the hospital, there was no active bleeding in the penis, and the parents were advised that the surgical treatment should preferably take place after the swelling subsided and the vascularity to the penis was improved. The corona fistula would then be repaired through surgery as soon as the surrounding tissues have healed.

MOH to conduct further investigations

Dr. Noor Hisham said the boy was reviewed three times a day at the Selayang Hospital but the parents decided to seek a second opinion from a private hospital specialist, and opted for an 'at own risk (AOR)' discharge from the hospital.

"The Selayang Hospital had provided the parents with a memo outlining the clinical condition of the boy to the hospital concerned. They had also informed the parents that the boy could return for follow-up consultations at Selayang Hospital at any time.

"The MOH is currently conducting a further investigation of this case. As previously mentioned, although circumcision is considered as a minor procedure, the complications that may arise can be severe and devastating for the patient," he said.

Last month there were two reported cases of botched circumcisions in the country. The first involved a 10-year-old boy as well and fortunately, his severed penis could be reattached at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. The second involved a 9-year-old boy, but was not so lucky and will have to live with an incomplete penis for the rest of his life.

MOH might suspend medical licences of doctors and clinics involved

The MOH reminded all health practitioners that they should have sufficient experience and be competent enough to perform any circumcision procedures, and that they should be liable for any complications that might arise.

It also said that it might suspend the medical licences of the doctors and clinics related to the previous two cases. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam said, that a thorough investigation will be done to confirm whether the doctors had committed an act of negligence during the procedure.

So far, the MOH has taken two actions, one with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) to investigate whether or not, the circumcision procedure had been done according to medical professionalism standard. The second was to scrutinise the health practices of the clinics, which had an obligation to provide adequate facilities and perform operations without any complications.

"It is incumbent on the clinic to contain any risk involved in any operation," said Dr. Subramaniam.

He also urged the families of the boys to seek compensation through the court as the MOH does not have any jurisdiction over the issue. The number of botched cases of circumcision procedures in the country was minimal, but due to information technology advancement, a lot of attention has been given to the previous two cases, he added. MIMS

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