FGM work highlighted in Comic Relief film 

13/03/2015 00:00 
A BBC3 Comic Relief special programme has featured leading work by UCLH in the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM).

‘Stop Cutting Our Girls’, which aired on Wednesday night ahead of Friday’s main Comic Relief efforts, looked at the reasons why the illegal practice is still carried out in Africa and other countries.

Actress Zawe Ashton led an investigation looking at how many women are at risk from the practice overseas and in the UK, visiting UCLH with an FGM victim to speak to consultant Prof Sarah Creighton.

The UCLH clinic for adult survivors of FGM was established by Professor Sarah Creighton in 1999. It is now led by consultant obstetrician Lata Kamble and FGM Specialist midwife Yvonne Sarachera. Consultant gynaecologist Suzy El Neil provides support for gynaecology issues.

Prof Creighton and Dr Deborah Hodes established the UK’s first FGM clinic for children and adolescents at UCLH in September 2014.This service is a dedicated monthly clinic for girls under 18 years who have had, who are suspected to have had, or who may be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  It offers sensitive and appropriate care for affected children and young people and will also contribute to the prevention of FGM in London.   Psychological support for children and their families is provided by Claudia De Castro, child psychotherapist. 

Zawe said the experience was an empowering one, and highlighted the role that education and awareness has in tackling the issue.

Prof Creighton said: “If FGM is to be eradicated then it will take communities and the health service working together. We believe that we can build strong partnerships between UCLH, community groups and statutory services so that we can give women and men from all communities hope that FGM can be tackled head-on.”

You can see the full programme on BBC iPlayer here: 

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