TITLE

Knowledge, attitudes and practices of female genital mutilation/cutting among health care professionals in The Gambia: a multiethnic study

AUTHOR(S)
Kaplan, Adriana; Hechavarría, Suiberto; Bernal, Mariola; Bonhoure, Isabelle
PUB. DATE
October 2013
SOURCE
BMC Public Health;2013, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a harmful traditional practice with severe consequences for the health and well-being of girls and women. Health care professionals (HCPs) are therefore expected to be aware of how to identify and manage these consequences in order to ensure that those affected by the practice receive quality health care. Moreover, their integration and legitimacy within the communities allow them to play a key role in the prevention of the practice. Nevertheless, the perception of HCPs on FGM/C has been barely explored in African contexts. This study seeks to contribute to this field of knowledge by examining the knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding FGM/C among HCPs working in rural settings in The Gambia. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was designed through a quantitative methodology, following a multiethnic approach. A pre-tested questionnaire with open and closed-ended questions was created. Forty medical students from the Community-based Medical Programme were trained to administer the questionnaire, face to face, at village health facilities in rural areas of The Gambia. A final sample of 468 HCPs included all nurse cadres and midwives. Results: A significant proportion of Gambian HCPs working in rural areas embraced the continuation of FGM/C (42.5%), intended to subject their own daughters to it (47.2%), and reported having already performed it during their medical practice (7.6%). However, their knowledge, attitudes, and practices were shaped by sex and ethnic identity. Women showed less approval for continuation of FGM/C and higher endorsement of the proposed strategies to prevent it than men. However, it was among ethnic groups that differences were more substantial. HCPs belonging to traditionally practicing groups were more favourable to the perpetuation and medicalisation of FGM/C, suggesting that ethnicity prevails over professional identity. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate an urgent need to build HCP's capacities for FGM/C-related complications, through strategies adapted to their specific characteristics in terms of sex and ethnicity. A culturally and gender sensitive training programme might contribute to social change, promoting the abandonment of FGM/ C, avoiding medicalisation, and ensuring accurate management of its health consequences.
ACCESSION #
90642162

 

Related Articles

  • MAURITANIA: 92% OF THE SONINKE ETHNIC GROUP PRACTICE FGM.  // Women's International Network News;Autumn2001, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p31 

    Estimates the percentage of women in the Soninke ethnic group in Mauritania that have undergone female genital mutilation.

  • Obstetrical consequences of female excision.  // Women's International Network News;Winter91, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p45 

    Reports on a study on the obstetrical consequences of female circumcision studied in 71 circumcised African women.

  • Nigeria. Adebajo, Christine Olufu // Women's International Network News;Summer93, Vol. 19 Issue 3, p43 

    Discusses female circumcision and other dangerous practices to women's health in Nigeria. Studies showing the performance of female circumcision on neonates and infants; Nutritional myths associated with pregnancy, childbirth, lactation and puerperium; Performance of hot bath in puerperium.

  • More than 149 million girls/women mutilated in Africa.  // Women's International Network News;Summer97, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p28 

    Presents statistics on the practice of female circumcision in Africa. Organizing educational efforts and actions to stop female circumcision; Female circumcision as an ethnic custom regardless of political boundaries.

  • Egypt: New research shows many more women mutilated.  // Women's International Network News;Summer97, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p31 

    Presents results of the 1995 Demographic and Health Survey in Egypt indicating an increase in the number of women who have undergone female circumcision. Circumcisions taking place before puberty; Failure to recognize the negative consequences of circumcision; Persons who performed female...

  • Egyptian Court Overturns Ban on FGM.  // Women's International Network News;Summer97, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p32 

    Presents an excerpt of the article `Egyptian Court Overturns Ban on FGM,' published in the June 26, 1997 edition of the periodical `The New York Times.' Court decision as a victory for Islamic leaders; Human rights advocate's protest of the decision; Ruling's focus on the legality of the ban.

  • New Zealand: Female genital mutilation health care survey. Denholm, Nikki // Women's International Network News;Summer97, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p33 

    Presents the results of a female circumcision health care survey in New Zealand. Objectives of the survey; Impact of an increase number of African refugees settling in New Zealand; Recommendations for improved health care services and child protection services.

  • Epidemiological surveys on FGM in Italy. Grassivaro, P. Gallo; Viviani, F. // Women's International Network News;Summer97, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p34 

    Presents epidemiological survey results on female circumcision in Italy. Existence of risk factors concerning female circumcision; Factors contributing to the rise of female circumcision; Survey of obstetricians and gynecologists who encounter problem of excision in African immigrants; Practice...

  • BURKINA FASO REPORT: THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE FIGHTING EXCISION.  // Women's International Network News;Winter2001, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p38 

    Discusses the report `Burkina Faso Report: The National Committee Fighting Excision.' Status of female genital mutilation in Burkina Faso; Objectives of the committee; Actions against excision.

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics