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Female Circumcision Rampant in Africa

Female circumcision is common among Africans as a custom rather than as a matter of choice. It is often seen as a way of curbing sexual waywardness //in the females while some clans even consider it as a symbol of maturity or as a method of initiating teenage girls into adulthood.

As tradition goes the circumcision is usually done with knives, blades and scissors which are often unsterilized. In addition the area of excision is often packed with dirty rags to impede bleeding. Several unconfirmed cases of young girls bleeding to death have been reported while many others get infected.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) female circumcision increases the risk of complications during childbirth and infant mortality with women who have undergone the procedure more likely to need Caesareans. Death rate among their babies was also about 50 per cent higher.

The study involved 30,000 African women and is the first of its kind to look into the long-term health consequences of female genital mutilation (FGM). The WHO described FGM as a form of “torture” that must be stamped out, even if performed by trained medical personnel.

TYPES OF FGM Type one - where the clitoris is removed. Type two - where the clitoris and surrounding labia are removed. Type three - where the clitoris and labia are removed. “By medicalising it, we will be endorsing this practice, this violation of a child’s body and a basic human right of an individual and I think that’s the worst thing we can possibly do,” Joy Phumaphi, WHO Assistant Director-General for family and community health, told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

According to the report, mutilated women were 31% more likely to have a caesarean delivery, had a 66 per cent higher chance of having a baby that required resuscitation and 55 per cent more likely to have a child who died before or after birth. 'As a result of this study we have, for the first time
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