19 August 2016

The Circumcision Story of RSA Nusa Waluya I


The 7-year-old boy’s face was tense. His cheerful smile faded when he came with his parents and friends to RSA Nusa Waluya I, which was docked in Riwang Village, Batu Engau District – East Kalimantan.

He is Abdul Widyatama. This 2nd grade elementary school boy came for circumcision at RSA Nusa Waluya I. Abdul was not the only boy circumcised at RSA Nusa Waluya I. There were nine circumcision patients during the three days of medical services.

Circumcision on the ship is indeed a special attraction.

“Previously, when there was a mass circumcision in Riwang Village, I actually wanted to participate, but because I was afraid, I didn’t. Now there is this ship. Now there is this ship. He was invited again and finally agreed,” said Abdul’s parents.

Although he was proud to be circumcised on the boat, the tension on his face was unavoidable. Fear was on the faces of the children waiting for their turn, especially when they heard the screams of previous circumcision patients. Some only changed their expressions, while others abandoned their plans for circumcision.

Some parents distracted their children in various ways, from providing toys and food to taking them on a tour of the ship.

Zaky – a nine-year-old boy – also came for circumcision. Zaky is Abdul’s friend. He was curious about Abdul’s circumcision process. He waited not far from the place where the circumcision was performed.

Zaky was about to look into the room, but his father forbade him, worried that his son would hesitate and not be circumcised. In fact, most of his schoolmates had already been circumcised. Finally, his father took Zaky for a walk around the ship.

The cries of frightened circumcision patients echoed in RSA Nusa Waluya I. When three minor surgical rooms were used for circumcision, the screams broke out like a symphony.

The expression of fear was different for each child. Not a few of their behavior invited laughter from the team on duty. Some children screamed like they were scared, while others screamed hysterically and even scolded the doctors and nurses.

One boy was upset and accused the doctor and nurse of lying. The boy asked if the circumcision process was still long. The doctor replied that it would be a while. However, the boy accused the doctor and nurse of lying and lectured that lying is a sin that can lead to hell.

Circumcision is not only a religious recommendation. It also has a positive effect on health. When uncircumcised, bacteria found in urine can stick to the skin layer and cause disease.

“Circumcision opens the skin layer. When we urinate, there is dirt left on the skin covering. In certain conditions, the hole can be closed and circumcision is a way to overcome this,” said Dr. Rocky Ellery James Tumbelaka, a doctorSHARE volunteer.

This exposure is in line with what a boy named Ahmad experienced. Coming to the ship to be circumcised, the doctor’s examination showed a blockage that required additional piercing. Ahmad had phimosis, aka narrowing or adhesion of the skin of the genital end so that it cannot open completely. Phimosis can cause a build-up of feces in the pubic head area.

Health checks cannot be done half-heartedly. The entire patient must be examined so that no disease is missed to be treated. Ahmad was also found to have testicular hydrocele or fluid buildup around the testicles. Although not painful, the buildup of fluid can be disturbing so action was taken to remove the fluid.

After the procedure, Ahmad was hospitalized with his father, who had also just undergone surgery at Nusa Waluya I Hospital. His smile seemed to have returned. Other patients went straight home after the circumcision. Some children were still crying – but still took the time to take pictures on the ship.