Victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) will soon get an opportunity at having their clitoris repaired, thanks to a new clitoral repair hospital due to open in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
The facility is the first of its kind in the world, a statement released today by the U.S.-based, nonprofit organization Clitoraid states.
According to the World Health Organisation, More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been cut in the 29 countries in Africa and Middle East where FGM is concentrated.
About 92 million girls aged 10 and above have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines FGM as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” Also known as “female genital cutting (FGC),” most FGM occurs in Africa and a few Middle Eastern countries.
In Uganda, female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced mainly by the Kalenjin ethnic group which includes; the Sabiny in the districts of Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwa and the Pokot in Tepeth and the districts of Amudat, Nakapiripirit and Moroto as well as Karamoja region.
The practice stands at 95% among the Pokot and at about 50% among the Sabiny.
The districts where FGM is practised have a large population with Kapchorwa having 114,100 people, Nakapiripirit 154,494, Mourita Sub-county in Moroto 128,311, Amudat 95,900, Bukwo 73400 and Kween 103,300 according to figures released last week.
Clitoraid Communications Director Nadine Gary says hundreds of women are already on Clitoraid’s waiting list to have the surgery, which will be free for any woman who wants it.
“Their wait is almost over,” Gary said. She said the new facility, called “the Kamkaso,” which means “the house for women,” has been nicknamed “the Pleasure Hospital,” since the surgery “will restore their dignity as women as well as their ability to experience physical pleasure, which was taken from them against their will.”
Gary explains that the idea is based on a resolution by the United Nations banning FGM and the universal agreement that the practice is a violation of human rights and the integrity of individuals. She further observes that eliminating FGM is essential for women’s health and therefore important to repair the damage already caused to living victims.
The initiative is a brainchild of human rights activist and International Spiritual leader Maitreya Rael of the Raelian Movement.
Given the barbaric nature of clitoral excision or female genital mutilation (FGM), Rael, inspired the creation of Clitoraid, a private non-profit organization whose goal is to assist all FGM victims who want to have their clitoris rebuilt.
Clitoraid is concentrating its charitable endeavor in Burkina Faso, West Africa where millions of genitally maimed women reside.
Gary said Clitoraid volunteer surgeons from the United States, Dr. Marci Bowers, M.D., and Dr. Harold Henning Jr., M.D., will perform surgeries at the new hospital and also train other surgeons to do it.
“The goal is to help as many victims as possible have this surgery, which will also help discourage the barbaric practice of FGM,” Gary said. “When its effects can be surgically reversed for free, what would be the point?”