Tanzanian universities combat female genital mutilation

Better training will help communities to prevent and deal with consequences of procedure, says vice-chancellor

December 7, 2015
Girls walk along a street in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Girls walk along a street in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Source: iStock

Tanzanian universities are stepping up their efforts to stamp out female genital mutilation in the country.

Three institutions are introducing a special course in preventing FGM, and dealing with the consequences of it, which will be taken by all students on their medicine, health and social science programmes.

Tanzania is the second country in Africa to offer specific training linked to FGM, The Citizen reported.

The three institutions introducing the courses are the University of Dodoma (Udom), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College.

Idris Kikula, the University of Dodoma’s vice-chancellor, said that improved training could play an important role in combating FGM.

“FGM has for years been affecting women and young girls,” Professor Kikula told The Citizen. “Much has been done to overcome this problem, albeit with poor results as there were no professionals to deal with the matter.

“I believe this initiative will ultimately lead to sound results.”

FGM has been illegal in Tanzania since 1998 but the law is poorly enforced and thousands of girls are thought to be affected every year.

More than 7.9 million girls and women in the country are believed to have undergone the procedure, which can cause numerous health problems in later life.

As a result, the courses being introduced by the three universities will cover topics ranging from the origins of FGM to treatment and counselling of girls and women who have undergone it.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

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