07 Nov Female Genital Mutilation of Young Girls Declines in Africa, Not in Western Asia
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala
Professor of Biostatistics
Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Northumbria University, UK
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The background “UNICEF (2014) estimates that worldwide more than two hundred million women have undergone some form of FGM/C, and approximately 3.3 million girls are cut each year. Recent estimates show that if FGM/C practices continue at current, 68 million girls will be cut between 2015 and 2030 in 25 countries where FGM is routinely practiced and more recent data are available (UNJP, 2018).”
Main findings: The prevalence of FGM/C among children varied greatly between countries and regions and also within countries over the survey periods. We found evidence of significant decline in the prevalence of FGM/C in the last three decades among children aged 0–14 years in most of the countries and regions, particularly in East, North and West Africa. We show that the picture looks different in Western Asia, where the practice remains and affects the same age group.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGMC) is a human-rights violation with adverse economic and health consequences for women and young girls. Available prevalence data indicates that the practice persists in many countries, the ban has been ineffective, and the individual and contextual risk factors associated with FGMC remain poorly understood.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: An important limitation is that the study focused only on girls aged 0-14. Trends in FGM among adult women were not considered in the study. The FGM prevalence is even higher among the adult age (15-49) in many cultural jurisdictions.”
-Evidence-based policies targeting socioeconomic and cultural support for children at risk of FGM/C in LMICs should be pursued vigorously.
– Appropriate research design, data collection and interventions containing religious and culturally sensitive elements remain an important public health policy priority.
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