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Healthcare professionals encounter FGM cases 'every hour'

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FGM is still prevalent globally FGM is still prevalent globally

Incidences of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are identified 'every hour' by medical professionals, analysis from Plan International UK has found.

The figures were recorded by NHS Digital between April 2015 and March 2016. The charity analysed the data and found that there were 8656 total attendances at medical appointments in England in which FGM was identified or a procedure to treat FGM was undertaken. This averaged out to one appointment every 61 minutes.

Tanya Barron, chief executive at Plan International, said that these figures are a reminder of the global prevalence of FGM.

'Across the UK and around the world, there's more awareness than ever of the dangers of this practice, and momentum continues to build as we strive to end it once and for all,' she added.

Among the total attendances, a case of FGM is newly recorded every 92 minutes on average. This means a woman or girl has their case of FGM recorded by the NHS for the first time.

The charity analysed the data ahead of International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation today.

In a blog marking the day Wendy Nicholson, the nurse lead for children, young people and families at Public Health England, said that through strong professional leadership, using expert skills and making best use of the key contacts health visitors and school nurses are well placed to start the conversation about FGM.

'Midwives, health visitors and school nurses can make a huge difference when it comes to identifying and safeguarding girls who are at risk. Nurses and midwives need to feel confident about asking questions about FGM; confidence comes from knowledge, awareness and organisational or professional support,' she added.

Plan International is a charity that works to progress children's rights and equality for girls in developing countries.


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