Spanish doctor's mercy surgery for mutilated kids

22nd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 February 2005, MADRID-A Spanish surgeon has come to the rescue of two Kenyan youngsters who had their penises cut off in their homeland during a bizarre ritual involving the creation of a potion reputedly able to cure AIDS.

22 February 2005

MADRID-A Spanish surgeon has come to the rescue of two Kenyan youngsters who had their penises cut off in their homeland during a bizarre ritual involving the creation of a potion reputedly able to cure AIDS.

Dr Pedro Cavadas came to the aid of  Oscar Kituy, 15, and 11-year-old Philippe Barasa both have a new organ thanks to complex reconstruction surgery carried out at the end of January in a Valencia hospital by surgeon Pedro Cavadas.

"They can urinate normally, will recover their erogenous sensitivity and will be able to have sexual relation," according to Cavadas, who works for a humanitarian foundation which carries out voluntary operations in Kenya.

A five-year-old similarly mutilated Kenyan is due to travel to Spain in December for similar surgery.

In November and December of last year Cavadas undertook an annual humanitarian tour to the east African state.

In the western city of Nakuri near the Ugandan border he operated upon 53 Kenyans who had suffered burns and
traumatism.

It was there that he first heard about the three youngsters that had been mutilated at the hands of adults, who incorporated the severed members into a potion supposedly able to cure AIDS, a common belief in the desperately poor region.

Aids infection runs at up to 30 percent of the population in certain parts of western Kenya around Lake Victoria.

Oscar suffered the most. As well as his penis his testicles were removed, as was an ear and a radial nerve.

Surgery on the spot would have been too complex and so at the end of last month, he and Philippe were taken to Spain.

"We reconstructed an organ very similar to a penis from forearm skin and tissue and bone fragments," Dr. Cavadas said.

The one-off operation "took between eight and nine hours," he explains.

"It's two weeks since we operated and already they are as good as leading a normal life," said Dr Cavadas.

He has also managed to "reconstruct" Oscar's testicles, ear and radial nerve, though the youngster will nonetheless remain sterile and will require life-long hormonal treatment.

According to Cavadas, the two young Africans he has treated are are not traumatised.

"They are very aware of what has happened to them and don't have a problem talking about it. Now they want to go home."

"I like Africa. It's a continent which I have always liked, Dr. Cavadas explains.

One of his next projects, however, is to go off to Bolivia to operate on children with hand deformations.

Dr Cavadas says he does not know if the cases of Oscar and Philippe are widespread in Kenya or other African states.

"It's possible that once word gets around about our operations over there other cases will be brought to our attention," he says.

Mutilation of sexual organs, including female circumcision, is still relatively common in parts of Africa. Sometimes, the victim is killed.

AIDS, seen in parts of French-speaking west Africa as an "invented syndrome to discourage lovers," has also given rise to various beliefs.

One of them involves infected men having sex with young virgins, on occasion by force, in the hope that that may aid a cure.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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