Inventor Shang Jianzhong shows off his ShangRing in his office in Wuhu, East China's Anhui Province. Photo: Courtesy of Shang Jianzhong
A former carpenter from Wuhu, Anhui Province, with no previous medical knowledge has won recognition from Bill Gates for a male circumcision device that he invented.
The device, which is named the ShangRing after its inventor Shang Jianzhong, also earned prequalification from the World Health Organization, a rare achievement among Chinese inventors. It is now being widely used by doctors in the frontline of the battle against HIV/AIDS in Africa, where the disease remains a serious health challenge.
According to Shang, randomized trials in Africa showed that male circumcision contributed to the reduction of HIV acquisition in men by approximately 60 percent.
Shang told the Global Times that 1.2 million people will use the ShangRing in African countries including Zambia, Kenya and Uganda this year. Some local governments in Africa are also working with Shang to promote the use of the device.
"The meaning of ShangRing lies both in its role in combating HIV/AIDS and as a symbol of China's innovation going global," the 62-year-old told the Global Times.
On Tuesday, Shang donated 10,000 sets of ShangRing to 10 African countries at the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition's 18th General Membership Meeting.
The ShangRing is made up of two plastic rings that sandwich the foreskin. The whole process avoids suturing, resulting in minimal bleeding and reducing complications after surgery.
"The operation is as easy as having a coffee," he said.