Improving sexual and reproductive health of migrant girls and women living with female genital mutilations providing them with specific maternity care
Background: Worldwide, 200 million girls and women have been estimated as living with female genital mutilation/cutting.
Today, this phenomenon does not only concern the countries where this practice is widespread, but also in many other nations where
the immigrant female population comes from the countries with high prevalence, or is clandestinely practiced in the countries of
destination of immigrant girls and women. It has been estimated that 50 to 80% of all African women who migrated to Italy more
than 5 years ago, underwent some form of FGM. Two-third of these have been found to be afraid of seeking gynecological care.
Only a small proportion of the 60% who have a vaginal delivery receive appropriate care (anesthesia and de-infibulation). FGM is
responsible for specific short and long-term complications that include uro-gynaecological, obstetric, infectious, psychological and
sexual consequences requiring appropriate care.
The Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) of the WHO has recently published new guidelines on the
management of health complications from FGM with up-to-date, evidence-based recommendations. The European Union has also
recently launched an E-learning tool to improve knowledge of healthcare for asylum-seekers among professionals. Its aims are to
provide easily accessible information and support to professionals dealing with FGM
Aim: The main scope of the project proposed is: to map existing referral centres and centres with expertise on women and girls living
with FGM in Italy and make this information available for professionals and the women concerned (website, professional boards).
In addition we aim to define the scientific, clinical and organisational requirements for such centres and to implement updated and
evidence-based training courses in obstetric and gynaecological diagnosis and management of FGM (in particular defibulation) and
its complications at a national level. Training courses will also provide useful information on further subjects, such as asylum-seekers
and FGM and the legal situation concerning FGM. Finally we hope to promote research on the economical impact of FGM.