Aug 18, 2011, 2:37 PM
communities of Busumbala and Old Yundum were over the weekend sensitised on
Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) by Njaboute Foundation, at Old
Yundum Lower Basic School in West Coast Region.
Sponsored by MMK Gambia Finland Friendship Foundation, the sensitisation brought together more than 50 participants, with the objective to sensitize them on the complications and legal implications of FGM/C.
Njaboute Foundation is involved in series of community sensitisations such as Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), Epidemics like HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis through Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) in order to curb the disease burden as well as to empower youths with the required knowledge on SRHR.
President of the Foundation, Ebrima Bah said they are trying to address health issues in The Gambia, to complement government effort and support the poor and vulnerable people by addressing one or two things in the communities.
He said FGM/C is a deeply rooted cultural practice that is often confused with religion and has no health benefit but rather causes complications to the life of the woman.
He called on Gambians to join hands to fight against FGM/C and advised parents to desist from the practice.
Administrator, Isatou Bobo Jallow also challenged parents to do away with the practice as it has no benefit but rather results to pain and suffering. She however stated that FGM/C causes profuse bleeding during labour which lead to hypovolemic shock, severe anaemia and even death if prompt, efficient and effective emergency care is not instituted.
The legal officer of the foundation, Anna Mendy informed the gathering that FGM/C is a criminal offense under the laws of The Gambia, citing various sections of the Women Act, to back her argument.
She further stated that anyone found guilty is liable to a mandatory jail term of three years, a fine of fifty thousand dalasis or both. She encouraged participants to desist from the practice and report any case if suspected or witnessed any within the community and beyond.
Speaking on behalf of the donors, Nena said FGMC is very dangerous as it can lead to children absenteeism in school when they are taking under the process.
She assured Njaboute Foundation of their continued support in enlightening school parents, communities and teachers more about the completions of FGMC.