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Health care for immigrant women in Italy: are we really ready? A survey on knowledge about female genital mutilation.

Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2014;50(1):49-53.DOI: 10.4415/ANN_14_01_08.FREE

Health care for immigrant women in Italy: are we really ready? A survey on knowledge about female genital mutilation.

Caroppo E, Almadori A, Giannuzzi V, Brogna P, Diodati A, Bria P.

ABSTRACT

Background. Because of immigration, female genital mutilation (FGM) is an issue of increasing concern in western countries. Nevertheless operators without a specific training may ignore the health condition of women subjected to this practice and fail to provide them adequate assistance. The purpose of the study was to estimate the current knowledge about FGM among social and health care assistants working with asylum seeker.

Material and methods. From October to December 2012, a questionnaire was used to interview 41 operators working in CARA (Shelter for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) in central and southern Italy.

Results. Only 7.3% of respondents states to know well FGM, while 4.9% do not know it at all. 70.7% declare to have never met or assisted a woman with FGM, nevertheless all respondents work with asylum seeker from countries where FGM are performed.

Conclusions. Migration fluxes to Italy over the past decade created a healthcare challenge: women with FGM have specific medical and psychological problems that doctors, nurses and social assistants without specific training are not usually able to manage.

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