Sadly, FGM is also in Nairobi

December 17, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 17 – Two girls aged seven and eight years were on Wednesday recuperating at the Nairobi Women’s hospital after forcibly undergoing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The hospital’s Patient Services Manager Rahab Ngugi said the incident happened in Makadara estate in Eastlands area on Tuesday.

“The parents had called another woman who came and circumcised the girls, unfortunately one of them bled a lot , she was screaming and bleeding so the neighbours called a community health worker. When she arrived the perpetrator and the parents ran away,” she explained.

Ms Ngugi said the two girls who are of different parents were rushed to Makadara health centre where they received first aid then referred to the Nairobi Women’s Hospital.

She Ngugi said the seven-year-old child was bleeding profusely at the time she was taken to hospital but her condition has stabilised.

The second girl was also in a stable condition but had suffered injuries. Ms Ngugi said the eight-year-old was receiving antibiotics to prevent infection.

“We are finding that these children are psychologically traumatized, they do not want to discuss the issue because they feel it may put their parents in trouble,” she said.

“They came to the hospital on time, the bleeding has been stopped and there will be no infection because they have been covered for infection and we can comfortably say the risk has been reduced,” she added.

The two minors were both receiving counseling.

The hospital said it would have to liaise with the Children’s Department to identify a caretaker for the children after discharge from the health facility since their parents fled.

Female circumcision, also referred to as FGM is a term given to a variety of traditional practices, which involve the cutting of part or all of the female genitals.

Different forms of FGM are practiced but what they have in common is that they all involve changing and mutilating a young girl or woman’s body, and thus are all harmful.

The Children’s Act 2001 criminalizes FGM of a girl below 18 years and provides a penalty of 12 months imprisonment or a maximum fine of Sh50,000 upon conviction.


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