World’s first clitoral repair hospital opens in Burkina Faso

Women with their babies
Women with their babies

The hospital offers free treatment to all victims of Female Genital Mutilation globally.

Thousands of victims of Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, can finally receive reconstructive surgery as the world’s first clitoral repair hospital is set to open in March in Burkina Faso’s second largest city, Bobo-Dioulasso.

The hospital, which was built from donations and volunteering from across the world, is an initiative of U.S.-based nonprofit organization, Clitoraid.

Clitoraid’s Communications Director, Nadine Gary, said the facility will be open to hundreds of women already on its waiting list and would be free for all victims of FGM across the world.

“Their wait is almost over,” said Ms. Gary.

She said the new facility will be called “the Kamkaso” which means the “the house of women.” It will also be known as “the Pleasure Hospital” since the surgery “will restore their dignity as women as well as their ability to experience physical pleasure, which was taken from them against their will,” Ms Gary explained.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said between 100 million and 140 million girls and women worldwide have been subjected to some form of FGM. The practice is most prevalent in Africa. WHO estimates that 91.5 million girls and women above the age of 9 are currently living with the consequences of FGM and over 3 million African girls and women are at risk of undergoing FGM yearly.

“After the United Nations adopted a resolution banning FGM, there’s been universal agreement that it’s a violation of human rights and the integrity of individuals. And eliminating FGM is essential for women’s health, so governments must keep passing laws against it. But Rael realized that it’s also important to repair the damage already caused to living victims,” said Ms Gary.

Dr. Pierre Foldes developed the Clitoral Repair Procedure in France. Volunteer surgeons from the United States, Dr. Marci Bowers, M.D., and Dr. Harold Henning Jr., M.D., will perform surgeries at the new hospital and also train other surgeons how to carry out the procedure.

“The goal is to help as many victims as possible have this surgery, which will also help discourage the barbaric practice of FGM,” Ms. Gary said. “When its effects can be surgically reversed for free, what would be the point?”

The First Lady of Burkina Faso, Chantal Compaore, who has been in the forefront to stop the harmful practice in the continent, will preside at the ceremony.

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