Blow to anti-FGM war as report shows medics secretly perform the cut

A report by the Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society has heavily implicated health workers as perpetrators of female genital mutilation (FGM).

The report indicates the medics are secretly helping parents to have their daughters circumcised.

The medics are carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) in health centres, much to our dismay.


The Society’s president, Dr Benjamin Odongo, expressed concern that the illegal procedure, referred to as medicalisation of FGM, is increasingly being performed by medical practitioners in clinical settings, moving away from untrained, traditional cutters.

About 20 per cent of the 9.3 million women and girls who have undergone FGM across the country, had the procedure done, ironically, by healthcare workers, who understand the risks, said the report still under compilation by the society’s secretariat.

“While medicalised FGM is perceived to be less risky, it also promotes the false belief that the procedure is medically beneficial or acceptable. Furthermore, some of the current FGM is being performed on infants or newborns,” Dr Odongo said. He spoke after the 43rd Annual Scientific Conference in Nairobi last week. The experts noted that the medicalised cut is even higher in urban settings at 28 per cent with major targets being newborns. However, the regulator, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, is yet to act on the matter.

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