The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a set of new guidelines for managing the health complications from female genital mutilation (FGM) in Copenhagen on Monday, by dismissing any health benefit from the procedure instead grave physical and emotional harm from the removal of healthy genital tissue can happen to the natural functioning of the body.
FGM has no health benefits, can cause grave harm and violates the rights of girls and women. Procedures can cause severe bleeding, problems in urinating and later cysts, infections and even death. FGM can result in complications in the childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
“Health workers have a crucial role in helping to address this global health issue. They must know how to recognize and tackle health complications of FGM,” says Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO assistant director general. “Access to the right information and good training can help prevent new cases and ensure that the millions of women who have undergone FGM get the help they need.”
An audio clip of the spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community , Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, indirectly urged people to continue with khatna, went viral. Following this, Syedna's rival Taher Fakhruddin publicly denounced khatna of girls and said that it should only be allowed after they attain legal adulthood followed by individual choice.
"Whatever the reason provided, FGM reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes," reads the WHO report. "The fact that FGM is an embedded socio-cultural practice, has made its complete elimination extremely challenging, efforts to prevent and thus eventually eradicate FGM worldwide must continue, in addition to acknowledging and assisting the existing population of girls and women already living with its consequences whose health needs are currently not fully met."
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