Female genital mutilation in children presenting to Australian paediatricians

Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2016-311540

Abstract

Objective The WHO reports that female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is an ancient cultural practice prevalent in many countries. FGM/C has been reported among women resident in Australia. Our paper provides the first description of FGM/C in Australian children.

Design Cross-sectional survey conducted in April–June 2014.

Setting Paediatricians and other child health specialists recruited through the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit were asked to report children aged <18 years with FGM/C seen in the last 5 years, and to provide data for demographics, FGM/C type, complications and referral for each case.

Participants Of 1311 eligible paediatricians/child health specialists, 1003 (76.5%) responded.

Results Twenty-three (2.3%) respondents had seen 59 children with FGM/C and provided detailed data for 31. Most (89.7%) were identified during refugee screening and were born in Africa. Three (10.3%) were born in Australia: two had FGM/C in Australia and one in Indonesia. All parents were born overseas, mainly Africa (98.1%). Ten children had WHO FGM/C type I, five type II, five type III and six type IV. Complications in eight children included recurrent genitourinary infections, menstrual, sexual, fertility and psychological problems. Nineteen children (82.6%) were referred to obstetrics/gynaecology: 16 (69.9%) to social work and 13 (56.5%) to child protection.

Conclusions This study confirms that FGM/C is seen in paediatric clinical practice within Australia. Paediatricians need cultural awareness, education and resources to help them identify children with FGM/C and/or at risk of FGM/C, to enable appropriate referral and counselling of children, families and communities to assist in the prevention of this practice.

Access full text (open access) here

Responding to Female Genital Mutilation as a women’s health issue (forum)

SHine SA, January 2017

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (WHO). It is also sometimes referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision. There are 83,000 women and girls who have been affected by FGM in Australia. FGM has no health benefits but causes lifelong health consequences for women and girls.

Our ReFRESH forum will consist of a presentation on the topic and a personal experience of FGM. The aim is to provide participants with a better understanding of FGM. We will explore where, when, how and why FGM is practised, and how to care for survivors.

When: 9 February 2017

Where: SHine SA, 64c Woodville Road, Woodville

Time: 1.30 – 4.30 pm

Cost: $50 (Student Concession $45)

Light refreshments provided

FURTHER INFORMATION & ONLINE ENROLMENT here

Enquiries: Phone 8300 5320 / Email shinesacourses@shinesa.org.au

Download flyer here: FGM Forum

Imprisoned without offence: the pain-filled, asexual world of genitally-mutilated women

The Cable (Nigeria), November 09, 2015
Sunday Salawa may never have sat in a classroom or profited from any formal form of learning. She may not even know the English expression for an act she describes in Yoruba as didabe f’omobinrin, but she does know it is dangerous. She didn’t have to be told by staff or consultants of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) – one of the UN agencies leading advocacy against the practice. Salawa is herself a victim – a convict, so to say. Although she has committed no offence, she bears the burden of a life sentence handed down to her not by a judge but by her very own mother.

Read more here 

Third survey of sex in Britain – results summary

ABC’s The Science Show, Saturday 31 October 2015 12:53PM

When HIV and AIDS took hold in the late 1980s, British researchers knew very little about the sexual behaviour of the population. It made predicting how HIV might spread almost impossible. This prompted a national survey of sexual practice which has been carried out every ten years since. Soazig Clifton and Clare Tanton discuss some recent findings and changes over time.

  • Read transcript or listen to audio of The Science Show here
  • Access survey results summary from University College London here

Antidepressants have sexual side effects in teens, too

Reuters, Mon Mar 23, 2015

When teens take pills for depression and anxiety, doctors need to make sure they understand that sexual side effects are common with the drugs, a new paper advises.

Read more here