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

Respectful and Inclusive Work Practices (LGBTI Communities and Sex Workers): Workshop

SIN and SHIne SA, Jnaury 2017

Respectful and Inclusive Work Practices (LGBTI Communities and Sex Workers): Workshop for Health and Community Workers, GPs, Nurses and Midwives

LGBTI Communities: 

This workshop aims to provide health workers with the knowledge and skills to incorporate into their practice a culture of safety and respect for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) staff, clients or other stakeholders.
Implementing such an approach benefits the practitioner, the client and organisations as a whole by creating a culture that values and upholds diversity of all kinds.

Sex Worker Sensitivity Training:

It is estimated that 1 in 64 South Australian women will engage in sex work at some point in their life. Sex Industry Network (SIN) is a South Australian peer organisation, offering support services to local sex workers. Come along and be educated by the experts around all aspects of sex work, and how to engage respectfully with sex workers, in order to provide the best possible services to this marginalised group of people.

When
Friday 10 February 2017
10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Where
SHine SA
64c Woodville Road, Woodville
Cost
$150 (Student concession $110)
Includes lunch & refreshments

Enquiries
Email: shinesacoursesATshinesa.org.au

Forum this Friday – intersectional diversity: CALD and LGBTIQ

SHine SA, July 2016

Our identities often fall into several groups at one time. We call this intersectionality. This can lead to particular issues for people.
What are the issues faced by culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people who also identify as LGBTIQ?
Join us as we explore the issues faced by CALD LGBTIQ people, including:
> Homophobia
> Racism
> Invisibility
> Stigma and discrimination
> Exclusion and isolation
> Impact on health and wellbeing

We will discuss personal and professional experiences.

The session will be facilitated by Khadija Gbla. Panel members include:
> Ben Yi (Community Support Worker, PEACE Multicultural Services)
> Anisa Varasteh (Community Service Coordinator, PEACE Multicultural Services)
> Leah Sarkanj (Social Worker, Multicultural Youth SA)
> Sharna Ciotti (Senior Social Worker, Families SA)

When 15 July 2016 (Friday)
Where SHine SA, 64c Woodville Road, Woodville
Time 1.30 – 4.30 pm
Cost $50 (Student Concession $25) – Light refreshments provided.

There are still places left, online enrolment here:
www.shinesa.org.au/events/refresh-forums

Enquiries Phone 8300 5317 / Email shinesacourses@shinesa.org.au

New website for FGM information in Australia

August 2015

No FGM Australia is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to protect Australian girls from female genital mutilation, and to support and empower survivors of FGM. They have recently launched their new website, which contains information resources, and a reporting mechanism for suspected FGM on Australian girls. 

Their resources are tailored to specific professions:

  • social workers
  • GPs
  • teachers
  • child care workers nurses & midwives
  • police
  • immigration officers
  • lawyers

There is also information on FGM and the law.

  • Access professional resources here
  • Access FAQs about FGM here
  • Report a suspected case of FGM involving a child – information here