Universities add course in female genital mutilation

Three Tanzanian universities are offering a new course on female genital mutilation to train health care professionals to deal with victims of the harmful practice that is still widespread although illegal, writes Kizito Makoye for Reuters.

The course, to be taught at the University of Dodoma, Muhimbili University of Heath and Allied Sciences and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, makes Tanzania the second country in Africa to offer such training, after Ghana.

Female genital mutilation, which involves total or partial removal of the external female genitalia, has been illegal in the East African nation since 1998 but the law is poorly enforced and thousands of girls are affected every year. More than 7.9 million girls and women in Tanzania are believed to have undergone female genital mutilation which causes numerous health problems. Some girls bleed to death or die from infections, while others die later in life from childbirth complications.
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