Knowledge of health personnel about female genital mutilation

Acta méd. costarric vol.50 no.4 San José dic. 2008FREE

Knowledge of health personnel about female genital mutilation (Letter in Spanish)

Cambronero-Aguilar I, Campos-Cortés C, Chavarría-Bolaños R, Chavarría-Ulate D, Gamboa- Ramón K, Loría- Chavarría G, Sandí Grettchen F


Background and aim: Nowadays, the short and long-term consequences in psychological, sexual, social and medical areas of female genital mutilation are known. It is a common practice in non occidental countries. However because of globalization and migration it has been a problem in different countries. In this context it is very important that the medical and nursing professionals have knowledge about its medical complications and management. The present study was undertaken to determine the knowledge of medical doctors and nurses regarding female genital mutilation, its possible medical consequences and its clinical management. Materials and method: A survey was made to 70 medical doctors and 30 nurses, at 4 national hospitals of the Costa Rican social security system, between October and November 2006. Result: 81% know about female genital mutilation, however 63% do not know about its obstetric complications and 97% said they did not know the deinfibulation method, 60% of the medical doctors do not know how to manage a case. Discussion: The result is explained because this is not a common diagnosis in this country. Nevertheless, the documentation of a case in Costa Rica and the continued migration of these populations justify the need of more information and knowledge about management of these patients. It is relevant the role of continue medical education.