The battle against genital mutilation in Germany

The battle against genital mutilation in Germany


A Report in Spiegel Online Gesundheit dated July 20, 2016

July 24, 2016

Spiegel online reported on the situation of women who have suffered genital mutilation and the work of the Desert Flower Center in Berlin. Some extracts of the article:
More and more women who have been cut are coming to Germany and the doctors are hardly prepared to cope. There are many indications that girls are still being mutilated even here.
She can’t remember the ordeal. She became aware of it with the pain of her first menstrual period. Deqo is 19, a Somali who became a victim of genital mutilation as a child. Today this has severe consequences for her. Deqo chose this name so she could tell her story. She speaks about her fate because she wants to save others from the same pain.
The young lady is sitting in her blue and white nightgown  on her bed in the Waldfriede Hospital in Berlin. Her words are translated by an interpreter of the clinic. Deqo has been in Germany for just over six months. She fled via Libya and the Mediterranean. Now she is living in Lower Saxony and has applied for asylum. No doctor was able to help her in Somalia, Deqo says. And the doctors in the vicinity of her refugee accommodation were helpless. A volunteer aid finally brought her to the Desert Flower Center in Berlin where women with mutilated genitals receive surgical and psychological help since 2013 – as the first clinic of its kind in Europe.
Dr. Cornelia Strunz, senior physician at the Desert Flower Center, has noticed that inquiries from more refugee centers are coming in. Social workers and caregivers for under age girls are calling the center because their charges are suffering. They have severe pain during menstruation as well as inflammations.
Every month the clinic reconstructs the genitalia of several women so that they can relieve themselves normally and bear children. In some cases the social security office pays for the cost, in others the costs are covered by charitable donations. Deqo will undergo several surgeries.
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