Tag Archives: Australia

Female genital mutilation: Australian law, policy and practical challenges for doctors.

Med J Aust. 2011 Feb 7;194(3):139-41.

Female genital mutilation: Australian law, policy and practical challenges for doctors.

Mathews B.

Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.b.mathews@qut.edu.au

ABSTRACT

The issue of whether medical practitioners should perform “ritual nicks” as a method of meeting demand for female genital mutilation (FGM) has recently been debated in the United States and Australia. Due to increasing numbers of people arriving and settling in Australia from African nations in which FGM is customary, demand for FGM in Australia is present and may be increasing.

Australian law clearly prohibits performance of any type of FGM. FGM is also prohibited by the most recent policy of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). For legal, medical and social reasons, the RANZCOG policy is sound, and medical practitioners should not administer FGM in any form. Development of an evidence base regarding incidence of and attitudes towards FGM, and the need for post-FGM treatment, would help inform sound policy and practical responses. Strategies adopted in African nations to abolish FGM may assist in refining educational and supportive efforts.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Female Genital Mutilation – Experience of The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Feb 1999, 39(1) 50–54

Female Genital Mutilation – Experience of The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne

Knight R, Hotchin A, Bayly C, Grover S

ABSTRACT

This study was performed to improve our knowledge and understanding of the needs of women affected by female genital mutilation. We looked at the types of complications of these practices which present to a large metropolitan women’s hospital in order to determine how we can appropriately treat and support affected women. This was an observational study of women from countries with a high prevalence of female genital mutilation who presented to the Royal Women’s Hospital between October, 1995 and January, 1997. Fifty one patients with a past history of female genital mutilation who were attending the hospital for antenatal or gynaecological care consented to participate in the study. We found that 77.6% of women identified as having had female genital mutilation had undergone infibulation. More than 85% of the women in our study reported a complication of the procedure. The major complications were dyspareunia, apareunia and urinary tract infections; 29.4% of these women required surgery to facilitate intercourse. In our study group there was no difference in Caesarean section rates between the women who had previously delivered in Australia compared with those who had delivered in Africa. Women who have had a female genital mutilation procedure have specific needs for their care which present challenges to both their general practitioners and obstetrician/gynaecologists. These women have significant complications related to their procedure including social and psychosexual problems which require sympathetic management.

This article can be purchased in this LINK

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C): Survey of RANZCOG Fellows, Diplomates & Trainees and FGM/C prevention and education program workers in Australia and New Zealand

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Article first published online: 23 SEP 2012

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C): Survey of RANZCOG Fellows, Diplomates & Trainees and FGM/C prevention and education program workers in Australia and New Zealand

Moeed SM, Grover SR

Background

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is traditionally practised in parts of Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia. Migration has brought FGM/C to the attention of health practitioners in industrialised nations. It is not known whether FGM/C procedures are being performed in Australia and New Zealand, where legislation has been passed banning the practice.

Aims

To survey RANZCOG Fellows, Trainees and Diplomates, and FGM/C education and prevention program workers, about their experience with women and children affected by FGM/C, specifically to identify whether FGM/C is being performed in Australia or New Zealand.

Methods

Electronic survey distributed via e-mail to RANZCOG Fellows, Trainees and Diplomates and FGM/C program workers in Australia and New Zealand between November 2010 and February 2011.

Results

530 responses were received from RANZCOG Fellows, Trainees and Diplomates, with an overall response rate of 18.5%. Thirty-four responses were received from FGM/C program workers. Five RANZCOG respondents and two FGM/C program workers cited anecdotal evidence that FGM/C is being performed in Australia and New Zealand. 21.2% (82) of RANZCOG respondents had been asked to re-suture following delivery, and 11 respondents had done so at least once. Two RANZCOG respondents had been asked to perform FGM/C on a baby, girl or young woman.

Conclusions

There is no conclusive evidence of FGM/C being performed in Australia and New Zealand, either from direct reports or children presenting with complications, although re-suturing post-delivery is occurring. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is most likely that people other than registered health practitioners are performing FGM/C.

This article can be purchased in this LINK