WHO: House by house, telling girls and families the dangers of female circumcision in Kenya

10 February, 2019

Extracts below. Full text here: https://www.afro.who.int/news/house-house-telling-girls-and-families-dan...

--

For three days, Sadia Hussein struggled in labour with the birth of her first daughter. The traditional birth attendant could not deliver the baby due to the constricted birth canal – the direct result of the female circumcision Sadia was subjected to when she was 10 years old... From her own tormenting moment, she began a lone-woman campaign in her Kenyan village to discourage the centuries-old practice of what is now considered female genital mutilation by the World Health Organization (WHO), health professionals and women like Sadia and other activists...

The practice has persisted for more than two centuries because of strong social-cultural beliefs. It often takes place in secret and is considered a rite of passage for girls up to age 15 years, although typically not done with their informed consent and with some procedures performed as early as infancy. Some young women (older than 15) are forced to undergo the cutting as well...

Dr Joyce Lavussa, a WHO reproductive health expert, says health workers from the communities that engage in the practice view it as a way of fulfilling their religious or cultural obligation. “Most health-care workers are not aware about the national laws on [female genital mutilation] and continue to ‘assist’ those requesting it for either monetary reward or in the belief that they are offering a cleaner, safer option,” she explains.

Sadia contends that health workers performing female genital mutilation has become common practice in Kenya, even attracting persons from nearby countries...

--

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org