TWEET CONFERENCE SCRIPT: Strengthening FGM related Services Delivery through the Health Sector (Ante-Natal Clinics, Immunization, etc) – 16.08.2018

Good evening and welcome to today’s tweet conference, I’ll be joined by @honolamoses1 and @mbamonyii as we discuss  @endcuttinggirls

We shall be addressing the topic; Strengthening FGM related service delivery through the health sector (ante-natal clinics, immunization, etc).

This session will run for 90 minutes (5:00pm to 6:30pm) after which, we’ll be taking your questions (6:31 to 7:00pm). For the sake of those joining us for the first time, we shall have a brief introduction on what FGM is.

FGM stands for Female Genital Mutilation, and is defined as all procedures that involve the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

There are four types of FGM, as classified by World Health Organisation (WHO) @WHO in 1997 and subdivided in 2008, and they are:

Type I: partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (clitoridectomy).

Subdivisions of FGM Type I are:

FGM Type Ia, removal of the clitoral hood or prepuce only;

FGM Type Ib, removal of the clitoris with the prepuce.

Type II: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision).

Subdivisions of FGM Type II are:

FGM Type IIa, removal of the labia minora only;

FGM Type IIb, partial or total removal of the clitoris and labia minora;

FGM Type IIc, partial or total removal of the clitoris, labia minora and labia majora.

Type III: narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris (infibulation).

Subdivisions of FGM Type III are:

FGM Type IIIa, removal and apposition of the labia minora;

FGM Type IIIb, removal and apposition of the labia majora.

Reinfibulation is covered under this definition. This is a procedure to recreate an infibulation, for example after childbirth when defibulation is necessary.

Type IV: unclassified – All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, pulling, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.

FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. FGM is deeply rooted in culture and has no health benefit. FGM is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of  girls and women to health, security and physical integrity.

FGM practice violates women and girls’ rights to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

FGM practice violates women and girls’ rights to life (when the procedure results in death)

FGM Practice harms girls and women because it interferes with the natural functions of their bodies.

For more info on this and other FGM related issues, please visit www.endcuttinggirls.org . You can also like our Facebook page using the link www.facebook.com/endcuttinggirlsnigeria or visit our YouTube channel

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) over 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) @WHO estimates that, every year some 3 million girls and women are at risk of FGM and are therefore exposed to the potential negative health consequences of this harmful practice.  FGM has short term and long term effects on the health and well-being of girls and women.

Short term effects of FGM include: severe pain, excessive bleeding, shock, genital tissue swelling, infections, etc

Long term effects of FGM cut across: chronic genital infections, urinary tract infections, painful urination, keloids, perinatal risks, etc

The health sector has a very big role to play in the #endfgm campaign.

Strengthening the health sector to provide FGM services both for prevention and meeting the service needs of survivors is key in the #endfgm campaign

One other aim of strengthening the health sector is to contribute to the well-being of girls and women experiencing the negative consequences of FGM.

Strengthening the health sector will also involve finding innovative was of mainstreaming the campaign into the already existing health services provided by health system

Women with FGM had a significantly higher prevalence of long-term health problems, as well as higher probability of suffering complications and problems associated with scars from FGM   @endcuttinggirls

Newborns were found to be more likely to suffer negative consequences such as fetal distress and caput hematoma of the fetal head.   @endcuttinggirls

It is therefore important to train primary health care professionals and implement coordinated preventive strategies in order to ensure an adequate action in the prevention of the practice and the care of its health complications for girls and women.

Practice will prove that training for primary care professionals is crucial to ensure an adequate prevention and sensitization of the health consequences of FGM.

I will hand over to my colleague Onyii @mbamonyii, who will take it from here, please stay with us.

By strengthening FGM related service delivery in health sector we mean interventions that span from prevention to services for FGM survivor care. Like my colleague mentioned earlier, health workers can be trained to create awareness on the need to #endcuttinggirls especially at antenatal clinics and immunization clinics.

During antenatal clinic visit most women are keen to learn new ways of keeping their unborn babies safe, this period can be used to teach mothers on the dangers of FGM and the need to #endcuttinggirls

Immunization clinics visit can be used to assess for FGM scars on babies so that they can be referred for care and management of the complications. Mothers can also receive  awareness talks at this clinic. @endcuttinggirls

Moreso, babies can be examined for abnormal scars in the genital area. This can help in getting data of where more intervention is needed.  In addition, health workers who are serving as @endcuttingirls advocates should be trained on social communication strategy as this would help them pass the  message with anyone feeling judged or condemned.

Infrastructures can be raised in locations, within the health facilities, where there are none for meeting the service needs of FGM survivors if must

Existing infrastructures like obstetric fistula centres can have staff trained to provide services like counseling, reconstructive surgeries, etc. to FGM survivors. The strategies mentioned in the previous tweets  will help strengthen the  campaign.

In addition health workers can form an alliance with the law enforcement agencies in states where AntiFGM laws exists, so offenders can be identified, reported  and sanctioned.

Thank you for having @honolamoses1, @TheCoachMYKE and I, @mbamonyii, in the discussion on “Strengthening FGM related service delivery through the health sector (, ante-natal clinics, immunization, etc.)”.

To learn more about the EndCuttingGirls Social Media Campaign to end FGM, please visit www.endcuttinggirls.org and follow our social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, using @endcuttinggirls

Thank you all for reading our tweets.  At this juncture, we will take questions and contributions. @endcuttinggirls.

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