HEALTH

FGM, early marriages contribute to fistula — CAS Kilimo

Says although cases of FGM had reduced in recent years, some communities carry out the outlawed practice secretly.

In Summary

• She said FGM and early marriages cause health complications for many women, especially girls who give birth at an early age.

• Fistula experts, led by Dr Hillary Mabeya, have been sensitising women on the need to seek treatment instead of hiding in their homes.

Gender CAS Linah Kilimo with women at a peace meeting in Kerio Valley on October 1, 2021
Gender CAS Linah Kilimo with women at a peace meeting in Kerio Valley on October 1, 2021
Image: BY MATHEWS NDANYI

Fistula problem is on the rise among women in communities that still practice female genital mutilation and condone early marriages, Gender CAS Linah Kilimo said on Tuesday.

She said FGM and early marriages cause health complications for many women, especially girls who give birth at an early age.

“We will continue to sensitise our communities to ensure they are aware of the dangers of exposing our young girls to FGM and early marriages,” Kilimo said.

She spoke during a peace event in Kerio Valley.

Kilimo said although cases of FGM had reduced in recent years, some communities still carry out the outlawed practice secretly.

Fistula experts, led by Dr Hillary Mabeya, have been sensitising women on the need to seek treatment instead of hiding in their homes.

Counties in the North Rift are also implementing support programmes and interventions to help more than 20,000 girls affected by teenage pregnancy, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Uasin Gishu health executive Everlyne Rotich said they are continuing with awareness programmes for the affected girls, whose lives may be ruined if they are not supported.

Last week, Kilimo and her counterpart in the ministry, Beatrice Elachi, visited West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties to assess the effects of banditry on women in the region.

Elachi said women and girls should be fully involved in peace efforts.

“We all want our young girls to attain the highest level of education instead of being forced to drop out of school due to the effects of FGM and early marriages,” Elachi said.

The two said the ministry will enhance its role in partnering with counties to fight negative and retrogressive cultural practices that affect women and girls.

Edited by A.N