Female genital mutilation case identified every hour

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An estimated 200 million women and girls are thought to be affected.

Data released this week suggests that on average, a case of female genital mutilation (FGM) is newly recorded every 92 minutes in England alone.

Figures analysed by Plan International show that there were 8,656 total attendances at medical appointments in England in which FGM was identified or a procedure to treat FGM was undertaken. The figure equates to an average of one appointment every 61 minutes.

The World Health Organization recently developed the first evidence-based guidelines on the management of health complications from FGM. FGM can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, cysts, infections, complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.

A special supplement published this week on the subject in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics , which was co-authored and guest edited by the WHO, has highlighted the importance of investing in the training of healthcare providers to both prevent FGM and to treat its complications.

Ian Askew, Director of WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research commented, “When healthcare workers are given the support they need, they can be important agents for change in their communities.”

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