WHO: doctors should be prepared for complications after operations that damage female genitalia

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 16.10.2021

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26 May 2016, 10:15

WHO has developed a set of recommendations for health professionals that will help improve the quality of medical care for millions of women, girls and girls who have undergone difficult non-medical operations on the genitals. According to the WHO, such women-injuring operations are still being conducted in a number of African and Asian countries, the Middle East. The practice of partial or complete removal of female genitalia is harmful not only for women, but also for her offspring. Among a variety of complications, bleeding, urinary problems, the risk of cyst formation, infection, and death can be identified, and the likelihood of complications during childbirth and stillbirth is also increased.

WHO notes that the practice of women-engulfing operations has become a global problem, and one of the reasons for this is international migration.

To date, doctors anywhere in the world should be ready to help women, girls and girls who have undergone such operations. Unfortunately, not all doctors know about the serious consequences for women's health after such operations and are not able to provide full medical assistance to such women. All this leads to the fact that girls and women suffer not only from physical, but psychological consequences after operations, mutilating the genitals, and health workers can and should help such patients. Doctors should learn to recognize and treat complications in women after such surgical interventions. According to Assistant WHO Director General Flavia Busteru, doctors should be properly prepared for such situations, which will help prevent new incidents of mutilation operations and help millions of women who have already become victims of cruel customs.

For almost 20 years, work has been intensified to eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation, in particular, research, informing local communities, reviewing legal mechanisms, and increasing political support for eliminating brutal practices. In addition, resolutions have been created that strongly condemn non-medical operative interventions on female genitalia and female circumcision.

The latest WHO recommendations noted the importance of providing quality care to women who underwent genital surgeries, in particular the prevention and treatment of birth complications, depressive and anxious disorders, and counseling about the sexual health of women. WHO also emphasizes that it is equally important to conduct awareness-raising among medical professionals to prevent the practice of conducting such operations by doctors, for example, at the request of the parents or the girl's relatives.

Six years ago, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA developed a strategy to eradicate these practices, including a strategy to eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation by medical personnel. According to experts, it is necessary to develop appropriate rules of conduct for medical workers, which will provide specific guidance on how to act when a girl / girl's parents, relatives or the woman herself requests a mutilating operation (in the Sudan, the practice of suturing the labia after delivery or widows, often at the request of the woman herself).

Also, WHO stressed the need for additional research in this area to improve the quality of medical care for women, after mutilating the genitals of operations. Also, new facts about such operations can help the health community conduct better information work on the risks to women's health and help to eliminate this practice.

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