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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 145-146

Curbing the practice of female genital mutilation to strengthen the economy of the affected nations


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission10-Feb-2020
Date of Decision21-Feb-2020
Date of Acceptance03-Mar-2020
Date of Web Publication17-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet District, Tamil Nadu - 603 108
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_12_20

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Curbing the practice of female genital mutilation to strengthen the economy of the affected nations. Curr Med Issues 2020;18:145-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Curbing the practice of female genital mutilation to strengthen the economy of the affected nations. Curr Med Issues [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Nov 26];18:145-6. Available from: https://www.cmijournal.org/text.asp?2020/18/2/145/282775




  Introduction Top


The practice of female genital mutilation exists in more than thirty nations across the African, Asian, and Middle East regions, although it does not benefit them in any way.[1] It is quite disheartening that over 200 million young girls before they attain the age of 15 years are being subjected to this unnecessary and nonscientific procedure on account of some random social prejudices and customs.[1],[2] On various global forums, it has been reiterated that the procedure of female genital mutilation is a violation of human rights and has to be curbed on an urgent note.[1],[2],[3]


  Adverse Consequences of Female Genital Mutilation Top


It is worth noting that the procedure is not risk free and has been linked with the development of various complications ranging from severe bleeding, dysuria, dyspareunia, infections, and complications during childbirth, including death of the newborn.[1] In addition, it affects the mental health of women and is linked to the development of mental disorders.[2] All these consequences indirectly warrant the need for the provision of appropriate medical attention and holistic care. In other words, the governments have to spend a lot of money for the mitigation of these medical and emotional consequences.[3]


  Financial Implications of the Procedure Top


It has been estimated that close to 1.5 billion USD is spent each year for the treatment of the health complications in these nations, which negatively affects the financial growth and development of the nation.[3] Moreover, inactivity from policymakers will increase the related health-care cost by up to 50%. However, if the practice is completely abolished, we will save at least 60% in the next three decades, which in turn will benefit the health sector as well as be a significant boon for the financial growth of the nations.[1],[3]


  Prevention and Control Strategies Top


It is quite clear that these social customs are deeply entrenched in the society and if we seek to eliminate them, we should be ready with more investment at this stage to halt the suffering that occurs as a result of this heinous practice.[2],[3],[4] The need of the hour is to strengthen the health sector response by ensuring formulation and implementation of the guidelines for the training of health workers and the provision of medical care, including counseling to all the affected women.[4],[5] The findings of a study done among female school students in Sudan concluded that the delivery of health education sessions on female genital mutilation and its consequences resulted in a significant level of awareness among them, and they were very much against the practice.[6] Such interventions clearly suggest that similar kinds of steps should be taken in school settings, which, in turn, will improve women's awareness about this public health menace and they can be more strong to oppose the same.[6]

In addition, there is a significant need to create adequate evidence about the existing practice, potential causes, and consequences and perform qualitative studies to get insights into how to eliminate the practice.[3],[4],[5] Finally, there is an urgent need for better international collaboration and political commitment to respond to this social problem.[3]


  Conclusion Top


Even though the practice of female genital mutilation has social roots, it has accounted for significant financial consequences and has produced negative impacts on the economy of the affected nations. It is high time that we acknowledge the implications of this social menace and work together as a team to eliminate the practice from the society in the near future.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Female Genital Mutilation-Key Facts. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/female-genital-mutilation. [Last accessed on 2020 Feb 10].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Piroozi B, Alinia C, Safari H, Kazemi-Karyani A, Moradi G, Farhadifar F, et al. Effect of female genital mutilation on mental health: A case-control study. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care 2020;25:33-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Female Genital Mutilation Hurts Women and Economies. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/06-02-2020-female-genital-mutilation-hurts-women-and-economies. [Last accessed on 2020 Feb 10].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Targeting health sector to tackle the menace of female genital mutilation. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:761-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
Kimani S, Kabiru CW, Muteshi J, Guyo J. Exploring barriers to seeking health care among Kenyan Somali women with female genital mutilation: A qualitative study. BMC Int Health Hum Rights 2020;20:3.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Mahgoub E, Nimir M, Abdalla S, Elhuda DA. Effects of school-based health education on attitudes of female students towards female genital mutilation in Sudan. East Mediterr Health J 2019;25:406-12.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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