As the world marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, the World Health Organization has launched an interactive FGM economic cost calculator.
The tool visualizes the health and economic costs of FGM and the potential cost savings in implementing interventions to prevent it.
The health body said the calculator is relevant to decision-makers, donors and communities, who can use its results to inform actions towards eliminating FGM.
WHO Regional Director General for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti is appealing to decision-makers, policy-makers, program planners, and donors to use the new WHO calculator, to inform decisions and invest more to eliminate FGM within a generation.
The theme this year’s celebration “Unleashing Youth Power: One Decade of Accelerating Actions for Zero Female Genital Mutilation by 2030” is aimed at mobilizing all stakeholders, particularly young people, to successfully eliminate FGM in the next 10 years in line with the Sustainable Development Goals target 5.3.
“The international community recognizes FGM as a human rights violation through several treaties. It has no health benefits and can result in significant health complications for the women and girls affected, as well as social consequences and an economic burden for health systems and society.”
“FGM is estimated to have been performed on more than 200 million girls and women alive today. More than three million girls are at risk each year, and this number is expected to increase to 4.6 million girls in 2030 unless we accelerate action to prevent this harmful practice.”
The global health body noted that eliminating FGM will require the full support of donors and decision-makers.
“In the African Region, FGM occurs in 30 countries. We have seen progress – for instance, in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Liberia and Togo, FGM has decreased among girls aged 15 to 19 years over the past 30 years. However, collectively we need to do more to protect girls, women, and communities from the harms associated with FGM.”
“We are working with the Member States and partners to eliminate FGM, develop guidelines, tools, training, and policies for health workers to provide the highest quality health care, including counseling girls and women living with FGM, while also taking actions to prevent the practice”.
The international Genital Mutilation (FGM). Community comes together to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on the 6th of February of every year.