FGM victims need psychological aid

African survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM) say they are in need of mental health aid, and urged governments and charities to provide support for dealing with long-term trauma.

Survivors and activists from across the continent attending a summit on FGM and child marriage in Senegal this week said mental health should have been on the agenda.

Common in 28 African countries, FGM is often seen as a rite of passage and justified for cultural or religious reasons but can cause chronic pain, infertility and even death.

FGM typically involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia and is practiced on girls from infancy to adolescence, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating about 200 million women and girls have undergone the procedure.

World leaders pledged to end the practice under a set of global goals agreed in 2015.

Cut at 18 against her will, 29-year-old Lekumoisa said she has never received any services to help with the trauma.

 

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