Lead Author: MEHRIBAN, Nadira
Published by: Women's Health
Year published: 2023

Background: Despite a strong international standpoint against female genital mutilation, the prevalence of female genital mutilation in Somalia is extremely high.

Objectives: This study assessed the knowledge, attitude, and practice of female genital mutilation among female health care service providers in order to formulate appropriate policies and programs to eliminate this harmful practice.

Design: Facility-based cross-sectional survey conducted in 2019 among female doctors and nurses working in Banadir Hospital, Mogadishu, Somalia.

Methods: A total of 144 female health care service providers were randomly selected, and data were collected through a pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire. Quantitative data were analyzed by using the statistical software SPSS (Version 21), and qualitative data were analyzed thematically in accordance with the objectives of the study.

Results: The study found that about three-fifths of the respondents had undergone some forms of female genital mutilation during their life. An overwhelming majority believed that female genital mutilation practices were medically harmful, and a majority of them expressed their opinion against the medicalization of the practice of female genital mutilation. The study also observed a significant association between participants’ age and their negative attitudes regarding the legalization of female genital mutilation.

Conclusion: Health care service providers’ effort is critical to eliminating this harmful practice from the Somalian society. Strong policy commitment and a comprehensive health-promotion effort targeting the parents and community leaders are essential to avert the negative impact of female genital mutilation.