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Pro Familie Informationen. 1979 Dec; 5:19-21.The Pro Familia organization published a declaration that the International Planned Parenthood Federation do all it could to prevent the incidence of female circumcision. Studies showed that this practice is followed in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by Muslims as well as members of animist religions. The clitoris and part of the labiae minorae are removed; this is meant to remove the source of sexual pleasure and prevent premarital and extramarital sexual intercourse. In some cultures the labiae minorae are sewn together, with a small opening left to accommodate menstrual bleeding. This practice has caused death by bleeding and blood poisoning and today is sometimes performed in clinics to avoid these dangers, often without success. Male and female circumcision are still seen in many cultures as necessary prerequisities to the maturation process.
World Health. 1979 May; 8-13.Female circumcision is still performed in African countries, and to a lesser extent in southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The origins of the practice are unknown, but the custom is routinely performed as an integral part of social conformity and community identity. It is conceived as an essential element of the code of modesty. The age of the girl who is circumcised can be anywhere from 1 week to 10 years. The operation (clitoridectomy, mutilation of the labia minora and majora of the female genitalia) is often performed by nonskilled practitioners under adverse hygenic conditions. Serious complications, e.g., surgical shock, bleeding, infection, tetanus, and retention of urine, are common. In 1976 the World Health Organization's Director General issued a statement on the need to combat superstitions and practices such as female circumcision. In 1979 all the participants from countries of WHO's African and Eastern Mediterranean Regions unanimously resolved that the practice should be abolished. The public will need an intensified education program, including health education, and traditional healers will need demonstrations of the harmful effects of female circumcision, to overcome a deeply entrenched cultural practice.
Seminar on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children, Khartoum, Sudan, February 10-15, 1979.
Alexandria, Egypt, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, 1979 Mar. 43 p.The papers presented at this seminar were "Nutritional Taboos and Traditional Practices in Pregnancy and Lactation Including Breast-feeding Practice"; "Dietary Practice and Aversions during Pregnancy and Lactation Among Sudanese women"; "Traditional Feeding Practices in Pregnancy"; "Nutritional Taboos and Traditional Practices in Pregnancy and Lactation Including Breast-feeding Practices"; "Traditional Practices on Confinement and After Childbirth"; "Traditional Practices in Relation to Childbirth in Kenya"; "Traditional Practices in Child Health in Sudan"; Traditional Practices in Pregnancy and Childbirth in Ethiopia"; "Tobacco and Reproduction Health: Practices and Implications in Traditional and Modern Societies"; "Female Circumcision in the World of Today: a Global Review"; "Mental Aspects of Circumcision"; "Female Circumcision in Egypt"; and papers on female circumcision from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Other papers included "Psycho-Social Aspects of Female Circumcision"; "Sudanese Children's Concepts About Female Circumcision"; "A Study on Prevalence and Epidemiology of Female Circumcision in Sudan Today"; "Early Teenage Childbirth and its Consequences for both Mother and Child"; "Child Marriage and Early Teenage Pregnancy"; and, "Early Marriage and Teenage Deliveries in Somalia". Recommendations included breast-feeding for the health of the child and day nurseries for the mothers who work.
Excision condemned (at the Meeting on Traditional Practices affecting the Health of Women, Khartoum, Sudan, February 10-15, 1979).
People. 1979; 6(2):40.Female circumcision was condemned at a WHO meeting in Khartoum, February 1979. 60 participants from Democratic Yemen, Djibouti, Egypt, Oman, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Upper Volta, plus UN, UNICEF, and WHO officials attended. Although excision is prevalent in West African countries, few were represented. Egypt, Ivory Coast, Somalia, and Sudan have outlawed excision and infibulation. The group also recommended further studies on child marriage and adolescent pregnancies, and for health policies and legislation to discourage child marriages.