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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Child subjected to FGM now admitted to hospital

30th January 2012

A one- year  child (name withheld) in Hai district, Kilimanjaro region is undergoing specialised medical treatment at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) due to over bleeding caused by an illegal circumcision.

The girl was circumcised secretly in Ormolili village in the district recently, according to information issued by the Social Network for Educating the Society on the effects of Female Genital Mutilation (Nafgem).

In a statement at the weekend, the Network said it has followed up the incident closely and discovered that the child was circumcised by her own mother. The child’s grandmother, identified as Rehema and the mother are being held by police.

The child's mother, Magdalena Julius (19), said her child was suffering from stomach infections, as a result she couldn’t learn how to walk even after attaining the age of 12 twelve months.

She said some neighbours advised her to take the baby to a traditional healer. “I sent my child to her grandmother, who claimed in order for the child to be healed, she must undergo circumcision,” she said.

However, the grandmother of the child, Rehema Taraa, said she didn’t know anything about the alleged circumcision. “Soon after my daughter in law came back, I saw my grandchild so weary and stained. I decided to take her to Hai District Hospital, and then she was referred to Mawenzi Hospital,” she said.

Program Officer of Nafgem, Honoratha Nasua, said the Network has decided to monitor closely “the brutal practice”

"We provide education and campaigns against such kind of practices and childhood marriages, we have a great challenge because nowadays circumcision is done secretly while babies are just months old.

Kilimanjaro regional police commander Absalom Mwakyoma confirmed occurrence of the incident, saying police were still investigating the matter.

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