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Nurses urged to help with fgm study

Tuesday September 1st, 2009

Doctors and nurses are being urged to take part in a government inquiry into female genital mutilation.

Senior health officials believe as many as 24,000 young girls in Britain are at risk of being subjected to the illegal operation.

The department of health says it wants to increase its knowledge of the problem - and also see how training can be improved.

Chief nursing officer Dame Christine Beasley said: "Up to 24,000 young girls in the UK are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation. We have put training in place to support frontline healthcare staff in responding where they see or hear of this practice taking place.

"By taking part in this research, nurses will be helping to ensure that the training available to them in this difficult area is refined and improved."

The research is being organised by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives with cash backing from the department of health.

Health Minister, Gillian Merron said: "Female genital mutilation is an extremely harmful practice and is illegal.

"It violates women's most basic human rights. Keeping children and young people safe is a top priority for the health service and the findings of this research will be essential in ensuring that we continue to offer women the best possible protection."

She added: "Often, women affected by female genital mutilation first come into contact with the NHS through maternity, obstetrics and gynaecology and sexual health services. I am therefore asking all these health professionals to take a stand against this practice by taking part in this research."

The survey can be accessed using the password fgmsurvey.

Tags: Nursing & Midwifery | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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