Co-Author(s): MOSHI, Vincent
Published by: Research Square
Year published: 2023

Background: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) is a public health challenge. The long-term effects of FGM/C are increased risk of cesarean section, postpartum hemorrhage, recourse to episiotomy, difficult labor, obstetric tears/lacerations, instrumental delivery, prolonged labor, and extended maternal hospital stay. The study aimed at ascertaining the magnitude of FGM/C and its associated factors among women of reproductive age in Tanzania.

Method: The study was an analytical cross-sectional study using the 2015-2016 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicators Survey. A total of 5,777 women of reproductive age who responded to the question on female circumcision were included in the study. Descriptive analysis was used to establish the magnitude of FGM/C among women of reproductive age in Tanzania. Both univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to establish.

Results: The magnitude of FGM/C was 12.1% at 95%CI of 11.3% to 13%. After adjusted for confounders, factors associated with FGM/C were marital status [married (AOR=3.141, p<0.001), living with male partners (AOR=2.001, p=0.027), widowed (AOR=2.922, p=0.03)] never in union was a reference population; wealth index [poorest (AOR=2.329, p=0.001), middle (AOR=1.722, p=0.024), richer (AOR=1.831, p=0.005)] in reference to richest women; zones [Northern zone, (AOR=91.787, p<0.001), central zone, (AOR=215.07, p<0.001), southern highlands, (AOR=12.005, p<0.001), lake zone (AOR=13.927, p<0.001), eastern zone, (AOR=24.167, p<0.001)]; place of childbirth [outside health facility (AOR=1.616, p<0.001)] in reference to health facility childbirth; parity [para 5+ (AOR=2.204, p<0.001)] para one was the reference population; and opinion on whether FGM/C stopped or continued [continued (AOR =8.884, p<0.001)]

Conclusion: FGM/C among women of reproductive age is a public health problem in Tanzania. Women who were subjected to FGM/C were those who were or ever lived with male partners, those of low wealth index, those with high parity, those living in Central, Northern, Eastern, Lake, and Southern highland zones and those in support of female circumcision should continue. The study recommends an intervention study to come up with a cost-effective strategy to eradicate FGM/C in Tanzania.