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  1. 1

    Cooperation by UNICEF in the elimination of traditional practices affecting the health of women and children in Africa (Extract).

    Ngom MT

    In: Report on a Seminar on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, organized by the Senegal Ministry of Public Health and the NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. Dakar, Senegal, Ministry of Public Health and NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women adn Children, 1984. 182-4.

    This contribution begins with a statement of praise for the efforts of the Senegal conference, complimenting the conference's recognition of positive and negative influencing practices. Positive practices should be encouraged with arguments and striking examples. Attention is drawn to UNICEF document PRO-71, the product of the 1980 Inter-Organization Consultation Meeting on Combating the Practice of Female Circumcision (FC), through the improvement of women's status, and the elimination of false ideologies such as those related to the necessity of FC for the preservation of female modesty, virginity, and chastity. Further attention is drawn to the efforts of a multi-disciplinary study group on FC set up in Ivory coast. Finally, the readiness of UNICEF to further female and child health development, and growth chart, oral rehydration, breastfeeding immunization, food supplementation, family spacing, and female education developments, are discussed.
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  2. 2

    Female circumcision and women's health.

    Baasher T

    Draper Fund Report. 1980 Oct; (9):19-20.

    WHO (World Health Organization) and a number of professional, national, regional, and other international organizations recently intensified efforts to discourage the practice of female circumcision still extant in several African countries and in isolated areas of the Arabian Peninsula, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Female circumcision is an operation frequently performed on females, between the ages of 5-10, in accordance with religious and cultural traditions. The operaton involves the complete or partial removal of either the clitoris prepuce, glans clitoridis, the clitoris, the labia minora, and labia majora. The operation can result in serious psychological and health problems for the young girls. Immediate complications include surgical shock, hemorrage, infection, tetanus, and damage to the urethera or anus. Late complications include infertility, keloid formation, dermoid Cyst dyspareunia, pelvic infection, and pregnancy complications. In 1976 WHO focused special attention on the problem and in 1979 the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office of WHO included a discussion of the problem in the agenda of a Seminar on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. Seminar participants recommended that countries where female circumcision was still practiced should 1) abolish the practice by statute if necessary; 2) establish national commissions to deal with the problem; and 3) educate the public about the dangers of female circumcision. Somalia recently established a national commission on the problem, and the Cairo Society of Family Planning developed a set of recommendations for combating the practice.
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  3. 3

    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.
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