written by Yusof Najim, YLLSOM M1 2016
This is an annual event conducted by MHPA and it is currently in its 5th year running since its inception. Since it is compulsory for all Muslim boys to be circumcised by the time they hit puberty, MHPA took up this initiative to render assistance to families with financial restrictions by conducting circumcision for the boys for free. This event took place on the 29th of November, on a Sunday, at Jamiyah Singapore, stretching from 9am to 6pm.
In addition, in order to ensure that the event ran smoothly, it was crucial to ensure that the patients were brought from one location to another in the fastest possible without compromising on their well-being, especially after the surgical procedure. Moreover, with the aid of a dedicated team of 6 doctors, headed by Dr Ghazali, and many other nurses, we were able to conclude the event at the intended time. Indeed, this event was primarily possible because of the time and expertise that the healthcare professionals volunteered. Special mention must also be given to the group of medical students from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine as well as the nursing students from Nanyang Polytechnic who kept the children company by playing games with them and entertaining them with loads of stories.
One of the main highlights of the event was the interaction between the volunteers and the children while they patiently waited for their turn to go under the knife. It was a common sight to witness the children burst into laughter as the volunteers sought to entertain them prior to the surgery and alleviate whatever fears or concerns they might be harbouring. Ultimately, these precious moments that we shared with the patients allowed us to develop a strong rapport and gain the trust of the young boys.
On hindsight, it was inevitable that some of the boys were overwhelmed by the moment and it was not uncommon to hear screams from the patients during the surgical procedure. However, by standing right by their bedside, we were able to comfort them and lend a helping hand so as to reassure them that it was all going to get much better in a matter of minutes.
In conclusion, with God’s grace, the entire event took place without any major hiccups and beneficiaries were able to return home feeling pleased about how they had transformed into Muslim men after such an ordeal.