CAIRO: the Ministry of Health reported two more cases of the recently banned female genital mutilation in Al Gharbeya.
According to ministry officials citizens have been reporting FGM cases after the operation was banned by a ministry decree last June.
The decree was issued after a 12-year-old died with an anesthesia overdose while undergoing circumcision. FGM was later put under the spotlight with the death of 13-year-old undergoing the same operation, shortly after.
The ministry of health said yesterday that FGM operations haven’t stopped.
Two more cases were reported three days ago performed by a midwife called Oum Mohammad in Gharbeya, ministry spokesperson Dr. Abdel Rahman Shahin told Daily News Egypt.
Earlier, on Aug. 11, three other cases were reported to the ministry in El Mahala, performed by a midwife called Nagah Mulokheya, Shahin continued. Reports also included a nurse in El Ayyat, who performed the operation on three girls, in addition to a doctor and a nurse in Giza. First we file a complaint that is presented to the general prosecutor according to Article 271. Concerning the doctors, we take away the clinic license. And the nurses are transferred to the legal affairs and the administrative prosecution, Shahin said explaining the procedure taken by the ministry after receiving the reports.
Since the death of 13-year-old Karima after an overdose of anesthesia while undergoing FGM surgery at Kafr Gaafar in Gharbeya, the Health Ministry has requested revoking the license of Mahmoud Habib, the retired doctor who performed the operation.
But the Doctor’s Syndicate vetoed the decision, claiming that circumcision is not yet illegal.
“The Ministry of Health says it wants to cancel the doctor’s license, but the Syndicate cannot approve this because there is no law forbidding circumcision in Egypt. How can we revoke a doctor’s license when there is no law yet? El Sayyed told Daily News Egypt in a previous interview.
But even though FGM is still rife, more people are reporting it. People are reporting the FGM cases through the ministry’s inspection committee or the hospital reports if there is hemorrhaging, added Shahin.
Mushira Khattab, the head of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, expressed her disappointment at the Syndicate’s response to what she called a shameful, barbarian and humiliating act taken against females.
She told Daily News Egypt in a previous interview that Article 17 of the penal code criminalized such actions, but that the problem lies in the wording of the law. The current law only allows circumcision in cases of medical necessities.
Shahin said the ministry will launch a campaign that aims at reducing the percentage of female circumcision to 20 percent in the coming two years, with a total budget of LE 8.859 million.