FGM rife in Tanga in spite of campaigns against vice

07Jul 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
FGM rife in Tanga in spite of campaigns against vice

DESPITE several awareness campaigns on the negative impacts of female genital mutilation (FGM), 60 per cent of pregnant women who attend clinics at different health facilities in Tanga Region have been circumcised.

A girl screams in pain while undergoing circumcision. (File photo)

A report launched here on Tuesday by a non-governmental organization dubbed ‘Mother and Child Health Care’ revealed that FGM was still being practiced in Tanga Region.

The organization’s coordinator, Esther Kimweli, said that data collected from various health centres in the city showed that most expectant mothers experienced delivery complications due to FGM.

“The number is too big, we expected people to change their mindsets and stop women circumcision, following several educational campaigns conducted by public and private institutions,” she said.

According to Kimweli, concerted efforts were needed to continue educating the public on the impacts of FGM as the situation was more critical in rural areas, she noted. Kimweli said educational programmes would be conducted in primary and secondary schools as well as among community members.

Speaking about the effects of FGM, Kimweli said that it had been causing many complications to mothers during delivery as most of them experienced severe bleeding which sometimes led to deaths if not well attended to.

She further noted that to reduce maternal mortality rates, the challenge of female circumcision needed to be dealt with accordingly.

Despite government efforts to eliminate the practice, some people continue engaging in it and it is shrouded in secrecy mainly in Mara, Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Singida and Manyara regions.

A recent survey shows that the practice is mainly prevalent in ten regions on the Mainland. The prevalence of FGM in Arusha and Manyara regions stands at 81 per cent.

In Dodoma 68 per cent women are mutilated while in Mara the rate is 44 per cent, Kilimanjaro (37 per cent), Iringa (27 per cent), Singida (25 per cent), Tanga (25 per cent) and Morogoro (20 per cent). Dar es Salaam appears to have the smallest rate at 5.4 per cent.