Author(s): Kaplan A, Hechavarra S, Martn M, Bonhoure I
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is a harmful traditional practice with severe health complications, deeply rooted in many Sub-Saharan African countries. In The Gambia, the prevalence of FGM/C is 78.3\% in women aged between 15 and 49 years. The objective of this study is to perform a first evaluation of the magnitude of the health consequences of FGM/C in The Gambia. METHODS: Data were collected on types of FGM/C and health consequences of each type of FGM/C from 871 female patients who consulted for any problem requiring a medical gynaecologic examination and who had undergone FGM/C in The Gambia. RESULTS: The prevalence of patients with different types of FGM/C were: type I, 66.2\%; type II, 26.3\%; and type III, 7.5\%. Complications due to FGM/C were found in 299 of the 871 patients (34.3\%). Even type I, the form of FGM/C of least anatomical extent, presented complications in 1 of 5 girls and women examined. CONCLUSION: This study shows that FGM/C is still practiced in all the six regions of The Gambia, the most common form being type I, followed by type II. All forms of FGM/C, including type I, produce significantly high percentages of complications, especially infections.
This article was published in Reprod Health
and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health