Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 17:37 UK

Kenyan boy in circumcision injury

A Luhya initiate undergoes circumcision
Traditional circumcision has been blamed for the spread of diseases

A sixteen-year-old Kenyan boy is being treated in hospital after losing part of his penis in a circumcision ritual.

He suffered the accident during the Luhya people's circumcision festival in western Kenya when the circumciser's knife slipped.

Reporters say traditional circumcision often comes in for criticism because of the health risks but is a longstanding part of the Luhya culture.

Doctors say he is in a stable condition but may require reconstructive surgery.

'Not suing'

Medical officers at the Bungoma District hospital told the BBC that the tip of the boy's penis was chopped off by mistake when the knife wielded by the circumciser slipped.

I have learnt a bitter lesson
The injured boy's father

He has been undergoing surgery on Friday to prevent further bleeding.

They said it was thought that he would be able to urinate but may not be able to have sex in future.

Correspondents say reconstructive surgery is expensive and the boy may have to go abroad for surgery.

Hospital officials said this was the first such incident this year and in previous years boys had been admitted with complications such as bleeding or infections.

The boy's father said that it was an unfortunate accident but he would not be suing the circumciser for compensation.

"I have learnt a bitter lesson," he told the BBC.

"I shall take my remaining two boys to be circumcised in hospital in future."

A new programme has been launched to introduce circumcision in neighbouring Nyanza province to combat the spread of HIV and Aids.

About 2.5 million of 32 million Kenyans are currently living with HIV/Aids.

Circumcision diary
30 Nov 07 |  Africa
Kenya struggles to combat HIV
31 May 06 |  Health
Mass circumcision to fight Aids
07 Jun 07 |  Africa

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