Thursday, May 4, 2017

The TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF KENYA in collaboration with the UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM HILL (UK) is pleased to invite all staff and students to a PUBLIC LECTURE on Female Genital Mutilation that will be given by the MAYOR OF NOTTINGHAM tomorrow Friday 5th May, 2017 at 4:00pm in the MAIN HALL.

Come join us for this informative talk and get insights into this public health issue that is increasingly getting global attention towards accelerating its abandonment.

Brief Background on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
By Dr Tammary Esho, Chairman Dept. of Community and Public Health

Female genital mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is a culturally entrenched practice implicated with serious physical, psychological, sexual consequences, associated with significant morbidity and poor health indicators and outcomes. A growing number of women and girls undergo FGM/C; globally, over 200 million girls and women are cut with 44 million of girls under 15 years (UNICEF 2016). There is increased global attention towards accelerating abandonment of the practice as it is implicated with very serious health complications depending on the type of FGM/C undertaken.Some immediate health complications include; excessive bleeding, infections such as tetanus, HIV, Hepatits B with long term complications including; formation of cysts, keloids, obstructed labour and prolonged childbirth, sexual pain, fistula etc. This variation in prevalence is also evident among different ethnic communities in Kenya where FGM/C is widely practiced by the majority of communities, with exception of only 5 (Luo, Luhya, Pokomo, Teso& Turkana) out of the 42 ethnic groups. In the Kenya Demographic Health Survey, FGM/C among 15-49 year olds have consistently decreased from 37.6% (1998) to 32.2% (2003) then 27.1% (2008-9) and currently 21% (KDHS, 2014). However despite this gradual overall decrease, some communities still have very high prevalence’s. For instance, Somali (93.6%), Samburu (86%), Kisii (84.4%), Maasai (77.9%) while other communities have declining prevalences including Kalenjin (27.9%), Kikuyu (14.6%), Kamba (10.7%) among others.

Figure 1 Global prevalence of FGM/C

Global prevalence of FGM/C

Figure 2 Varying FGM/C prevalence in Kenyan communities

Global prevalence of FGM/C

Some reasons cited for continuation of FGM/C are; Sexual maturity, rite of passage, marriageability, cultural identity, fertility, sexual satisfaction for men, guarantee for virginity and chastity, control libido and women’s sexual desire, hygiene and cleanliness, increase the dowry, maintain the dignity and honor of the family among others.

FGM/C is a practice that is a violation of human rights and against the law here in Kenya. We need to work together to end this practice through community education, girls and women empowerment, community dialogue and participation among others ways. We need each one of you to join us in doing so. Let us maintain the dignity of girls and women which will benefit men too and the society at large.