“It is unbelievable to think that 125 million women worldwide have been harmed in this way,” said Queen Mathilde, on Friday morning, during her visit to the Medical Assistance Centre for Victims of Excision (CeMAViE), located in Saint-Pierre University Hospital, in Brussels. Gynaecologist Martin Caillet, head of the centre, argues for a more multidisciplinary approach to tackle this problem. After Dr. Caillet’s and hospital director Pascale Peraita’s speeches, the Queen attended a round table meeting with an excision victim, among other participants. She then visited the centre, which opened earlier this year. It is dedicated to treating and supporting women with FGM-related somatic and psychological complications. The Queen seemed very interested and attentive.
Every ten seconds, somewhere in the world, a woman is being excised. In Guinea, Egypt and Somalia, 90% of women aged 15-49 undergo the procedure. According to a study conducted by both the Institute of Tropical Medicine and the FPS Public Health, in Belgium, 13,112 women are most likely to have been excised and 4,084 girls remain exposed to the risk of FGM in the future.
In addition to physical consequences, such as infections, chronic pain and complications during childbirth, the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia may also lead to neurosis, depression, loss of self-esteem and PTSD. These days, mutual funds typically only pay for surgical procedures. CeMAViE demands that medical care related to somatic and psychological consequences also be taken into account.
The Medical Assistance Centre also said that healthcare professionals should be better informed regarding FGM and receive appropriate training to be better able to assist victims.
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)