FGM still rampant in Garissa

An undated handout picture made available by The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on 05 February 2016 ...
An undated handout picture made available by The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on 05 February 2016 shows Boko Mohammed, a former excisor, a practitioner who performs female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), holding the tool she used to perform the procedure at a community meeting in Kabele Village, in Amibara District, Afar Region, Ethiopia. Photo/EPA

Female Genital Mutilation is now reported to be on the rise in Garissa County despite the law passed in 2011 banning its practice in the country.

Speaking at a sensitization forum in Garissa Township, Zahara Hashim, a coordinator at Sister’s Maternity Home (SIMAHO) said that the existence of stringent laws and penalties against the practice have not been enough to compel their leaders to enforce the law.

According to Ms Hashim, at least 3 cases of retained menstruation are reported at the health facility every week, a condition that emanates from a botched exercise where the menstrual blood is constrained in the uterus causing Vesicle Vaginal Fistula.

If not treated early enough, the condition causes permanent disability and stigmatization.

Ms Hashim further faults some parents for secretly allowing girls as early as five years old to undergo the outlawed rite of passage.

Ms Hashim further blames religious factors and rigidity among the members of the community as the major reasons why this rite still lives on.

Sheikh Hussein Mahat, a renown Islamic Scholar says that FGM has nothing to do with religion and is commonly practised among the Somali Community.

“This is purely a cultural practice that has been sneaked into religion by some people to attract a larger audience.” said Mahat

“This act is illegal and should be called out as such!” he added

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Story By Fridah Wangeci
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