By:Mubaarik Fuaad Hassan
The FGM is a traditional habits used by many countries around the world. FGM is rive amongst the areas resided by ethnically Somali people. Every year we participate in the annual FGM day on the 6th of February. This day is used to raise awareness of the effects of FGM mentally and physically.
Somalia is one of the highest countries where FGM is commonly practiced. Dr Mariam Dahir told me he estimates that up to 98% of the girls are still going through FGM.
Side effects of FGM
FGM has many side effects which effects women. This splits in two categories. Immediate Health Problems and Long Term Health Problems.
FGM puts children at risk of life threatening complications at the time of the procedure as well as health problems that remain with her for life. They may suffer bleeding at the time of the procedure or develop severe infection, both of which can lead to death if not treated promptly. Those who do not develop life-threatening complications will still suffer from severe pain and trauma.
The procedure also permits the transmission of viral infections such as hepatitis which can lead to chronic liver diseases and even HIV. The women may suffer complications such as recurrent infections, pain and obstruction associated with urination and they are at higher risk of painful menstruation and intercourse, pelvic infection and difficulties in becoming pregnant. Retention of urine and recurrent infections often require repeated hospital admissions and some women carry a risk of developing nephritis. The development of cysts and keloids at the site of the scar are very common, often causing embarrassment and marital problems, and usually require surgery for removal.
Short Term Effects
When we look at what the short term effects.
The issue women experience straightway are Pain, Blood Hemorrhage, Shock and FGM related infections.
Long Term Effects
When we look at the long term effects of FGM. Some the problems starts few years later and some of them starts immediately or when the women goes through the menstrual cycle. During Intercourse when she gets married. During pregnancy, when in labor or at delivery.
Girls who have undergone FGM must sometimes have their genitals removed. Women must have the genitals re structured and re-opened when she gets married. Before marriage they experience lots complications with menses.
Although lots of awareness is raised about FGM it’s still on the increase and lots of parents are still using this outdated practice. It’s the responsibility of everyone to increase the awareness and to stop this old traditions. We currently don’t have a strong enforcement of the law to deal this type of abuse. There are no medical or religion evidence of any benefit of this practice. Yet we are all aware of the effects of FGM.
About the Author
Mubaarik Fuaad Hassan ,Gender and Protection Journalist Hargeisa , Twitter/@Mubaarikfuaad