Access to care services for FGM survivors

The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) remains widespread in many countries despite its harmful and multiple consequences on the young girls and women concerned. Moreover, FGM involves great violence and causes significant trauma to women that should not be overlooked. It is a violation of the fundamental rights of girls and women.  

In addition, FGM has a damaging impact on the health of girls and women. The practice can be very painful and traumatic (UNICEF, 2019).   

Indeed, the removal of healthy genital tissue prevents the body’s natural mechanism. Women who have undergone FGM may subsequently have specific physical and psychological problems that require special care (UNICEF, 2019).   

FGM will have an immediate or lasting impact on the woman’s health and potentially on that of her future children (WHO, 2020).   

There may be immediate physical repercussions for the woman such as severe pain, pain-related shock, haemorrhage or even septic shock depending on the more or less safe procedures of the operation. Urinary problems such as pain during urination may also occur. Infections may occur as a result of the use of contaminated instruments or during the wound healing period, which may lead to a risk of infertility. They can also, in extreme cases, lead to the death of the girl in case of sepsis. In addition to the severe immediate impact, genital mutilation has serious long-term health consequences that can occur at any time in life. These consequences include chronic pain, pain during sexual intercourse and during menstruation (Plan International, 2020).   

But also kysts, genital ulcers or abscesses, infections that can lead to chronic pain, as well as back pain, keloids or urinary tract infections. The latter can extend to the kidneys and lead to kidney failure (WHO, 2020).   

Serious psychological consequences can also persist throughout the lives of these women. These mental sequelae are often due to the trauma associated with the pain experienced at the time of the act and the shock experienced. The latter is linked in particular to the force used by those performing the mutilation to hold these women during the excision so that they do not move (Excision, let’s talk about it! 2020).   

In addition, women affected by FGM may no longer be able to trust their carers, developing low self-esteem over the years. Feelings of anxiety and depression are likely to be present throughout their lives (UNICEF, 2019).  

This is why it is necessary to ask questions as a professional about these women’s experiences, their care and their access to care services.  

The thematic discussion begins with a medical webinar organised by COP FGM on desinfibulation with Dr Jasmine Abdulcadir.  

In the context of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), desinfibulation which is a recommended intervention to reduce obstetric complications and recurrent urinary tract infections (WHO, 2018).   

This medical webinar on disinfibulation is therefore in line with our common objectives namely: to improve the health and well-being of women affected by FGM ( TYPE III in this case) and to strengthen the quality of support and their access to health care.   

 

references

“The Community of Practice on Female Genital Mutilation” is part of the “Building Bridges between Africa and Europe to tackle FGM” project, supported by the “UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of FGM”.
The project is coordinated by AIDOS in partnership with GAMS Belgium.

The views expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the UNFPA, UNICEF or any other agency or organization.

© Copyright : GAMS Belgium

Access to care services for FGM survivors

The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) remains widespread in many countries despite its harmful and multiple consequences on the young girls and women concerned. Moreover, FGM involves great violence and causes significant trauma to women that should not be overlooked. It is a violation of the fundamental rights of girls and women.  

In addition, FGM has a damaging impact on the health of girls and women. The practice can be very painful and traumatic (UNICEF, 2019).   

Indeed, the removal of healthy genital tissue prevents the body’s natural mechanism. Women who have undergone FGM may subsequently have specific physical and psychological problems that require special care (UNICEF, 2019).  

  • How to improve and promote the health and well-being of FGM survivors?  
  • How can the quality of support for FGM survivors be improved?  
  • What access to health care for FGM survivors? 

references

“The Community of Practice on Female Genital Mutilation” is part of the “Building Bridges between Africa and Europe to tackle FGM” project, supported by the “UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of FGM”.
The project is coordinated by AIDOS in partnership with GAMS Belgium.

The views expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the UNFPA, UNICEF or any other agency or organization.

© Copyright : GAMS Belgium