Somalia: 2 Sisters Die After FGM

From KCUR:
Editor’s note: Given the subject this story explores, the discussion includes some explicit language.

Two sisters from a remote pastoral village in Puntland State, Somalia, died on Sept. 11 of complications from a female genital mutilation (FGM) procedure.

An “inexperienced self-proclaimed traditional circumciser” performed the procedure the day before, according to Dr. Mohamed Hussein Aden, director of the University Teaching Hospital in Galkayo, Somalia, who sent an email with his comments to NPR.

According to Aden, the procedure caused profuse bleeding, and the girls died of hemorrhagic shock en route to the hospital, about 75 miles from the location of the procedure.

Aden indicated that the girls — Aasiyo Farah Abdi Warsame, 10, and Khadijo, 11 — underwent the form of FGM known as infibulation, in which the clitoris and labia are cut and re-stitched to narrow the vaginal opening.

Claudia Cappa, senior adviser of statistics for child protection and development at UNICEF, told NPR that infibulation is commonly practiced in Somalia and is the most invasive type of FGM procedure.

“Infibulation is the most severe form of FGM and cutting, which [can] result in the death of the girl,” Cappa says.

The deaths of the two sisters this week follow the death of another Somali girl, Deeqa Nuur, 10, in July 2018, who also hemorrhaged after an FGM procedure.

The cases underscore concerns about FGM in Somalia, which the U.N. says has the highest prevalence in the world. Ninety-eight percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have undergone FGM. The practice is legal in Somalia.

Worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 200 million women and girls have experienced some form of FGM….

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