This Week In The Bmj

Improving knowledge on female genital mutilation

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:0-c

Studies of female genital mutilation should not rely on women's self reporting or WHO classification to define the severity of the operation, say Elmusharaf and colleagues on page 124. They assessed reports of 255 girls aged 4-9 years and of 282 women aged 17-35 years from a paediatric hospital and a gynaecological outpatient clinic in Sudan. They verified the extent of cutting with clinical examination and compared the extent with the corresponding WHO classification. They found considerable under-reporting of the extent and that the WHO classification fails to relate the defined forms of female genital mutilation to the severity of the operation.

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