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Attitudes and awareness of female genital mutilation: a questionnaire-based study in a Kenyan hospital.

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Nov;27(8):816-8.

Attitudes and awareness of female genital mutilation: a questionnaire-based study in a Kenyan hospital.

Livermore L, Monteiro R, Rymer J.

Guys, Kings and St. Thomas’ School of Medicine, London, UK. jameslivermore@doctors.org.uk

ABSTRACT

There are considerable efforts in Kenya to increase awareness of the issues and health risks associated with female genital mutilation (FGM) through educational programmes. The Kenyan government formally outlawed FGM in 2001. This questionnaire-based study aimed to explore attitudes and awareness of FGM in Kenya with particular reference to the law, health complications and educational programmes. A significant decline in the prevalence of FGM was demonstrated and awareness of health complications of FGM shown to be the main factor causing this trend. The need for further efforts to eradicate the practice and the importance of religion and culture in shaping social attitudes was evident. The outlawing of FGM was considered a positive advance but may have the detrimental effect of deterring women from seeking medical assistance for complications relating to FGM.

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