KISII, Kenya, Jun 17 –Activists and medical practitioners campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation have condemned rising FGM cases in the Gusii region aggravated by containment measures imposed in the wake of COVID-19.
While marking the celebrations of the African Child Day, the two groups resolved to work as a team to end FGM as Kisii was ranked third with 84 per cent on matters FGM.
A recent study conducted by the Kenya demographic Health Survey shows despite the rapid urbanization, FGM practices continued to rise unlike in other urbanizing communities.
Ruth Mogaka Head of Gender mainstreaming at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital said the harmful traditional practices continue to define the lives of girls in the Gusii community to date.
“For many years, FGM in particular has affected the social economic well being of our girls and it’s time as stakeholders we continue the campaign against the practice,” Mogaka said.
She applauded the government, NGOs, the church and political leaders and individuals who have mooted many campaigns to help end this harmful practice.
Mogaka noted FGM practices were on the rise during holidays when so many activities usually take place and the practitioners take advantage of conducting FGM as cooperative parents send their girls upcountry to go for the cut.
“Many of our people are highly educated and live in urban areas but despite with such development indices very low decline FGM preferences,” she noted.
She observed that the practice was still thriving among locals despite the residents being aware of its dangers.
Mogaka said the most disturbing thing is that the community still practices FGM despite knowing the risks involved. She said there was need to conduct research to establish why FGM was widespread.
Stellah Achoki, Executive Director at Center for Community Mobilization and Empowerment, said despite the quality health care in the region with so many private hospitals around it had emerged some health care workers were carrying out FGM practices.
She stated that the practice has now moved to private clinics, within houses and estates.