Female genital mutilation (FGM), as defined in  Box 1, is most prevalent in certain African and Middle Eastern countries, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Prevalence of FGM among women aged 15-49 years in Africa and the Middle East (2016)

Source: Global databases based on data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, Demographic and Health Survey and other national surveys 2004-2015, 2016, UNICEF

Girls born to mothers from an FGM-practising country are at risk of being subject to FGM themselves. It has been estimated that, of 144,000 girls born in England and Wales to mothers from FGM-practising countries between 1996 and 2010, 60,000 of these mothers had undergone FGM. 5 It is estimated that 3,300 Hackney and the City residents have undergone FGM, of whom an estimated 120 are aged under 15. 6

In order to raise awareness and improve services and the safeguarding of girls at risk, the Department of Health introduced the FGM Prevalence Dataset in April 2014.  This dataset required all NHS healthcare settings to record and collect information about the prevalence of FGM within the local patient population. In April 2015, the FGM Enhanced Dataset was introduced to replace the initial FGM Prevalence Dataset. 7  Homerton Hospital had been recording FGM data in antenatal services prior to the introduction of mandatory recording. Over the nine-year period 2008-2015, a history of FGM was disclosed and recorded in the antenatal booking of 286 Hackney mothers at Homerton Hospital out of approximately 27,000 births, a birth prevalence rate of 1.1%. In total, fewer than five Hackney mothers underwent deinfibulationD at Homerton Hospital during this period.

Between July and September 2015, FGM was identified in 13 clinical attendances (all of which being new recordings) in Hackney and the City.E In 10 of these cases, the type of FGM was unknown or not reported. In nine of the 13 cases, the woman was pregnant, and a baby girl was born in fewer than five of these attendances (which perpetuates the risk of FGM in the family).F

Hackney children’s social care service received 60 referrals for children at risk of FGM over a 10-month period in 2014/15, but in no cases had the girl had FGM performed.

There are no girls aged 0-15 in the City of London who were born in countries where FGM is prevalent. 8

Notes

  1. Deinfibulation is the surgical procedure to reverse FGM type 3 (see Box 1).
  2. Data should be submitted every time the woman or girl has treatment related to her FGM or gives birth to a baby girl, and every (not just the first) time FGM is identified by a clinician or is self-reported.
  3. Numbers fewer than five are suppressed so that data are not identifiable.
  4. Deinfibulation is the surgical procedure to reverse FGM type 3 (see Box 1).
  5. Data should be submitted every time the woman or girl has treatment related to her FGM or gives birth to a baby girl, and every (not just the first) time FGM is identified by a clinician or is self-reported.
  6. Numbers fewer than five are suppressed so that data are not identifiable.

References

  1. “Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales: Updated statistical estimates of the numbers of affected women living in England and Wales and girls,” City, University of London, 2014
  2. A. J. Macfarlane and E. Dorkenoo, “Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales: National and local estimates.,” City University London in association with Equality Now. , 2015
  3. “FGM Enhanced Dataset Clinical Audit Platform Operational Guidance,” Health and Social Care Information Centre, [Online]. Available: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/media/16815/FGM-Enhanced-Dataset-Clinical-Audit-Platform-Operational-Guidance/doc/FGM_CAP_Operationa. [Accessed June 2016
  4. “Tackling & Preventing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – City and Hackney Strategy 2015-2018,” Hackney Council and City of London Corporation, 2016
  5. “Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales: Updated statistical estimates of the numbers of affected women living in England and Wales and girls,” City, University of London, 2014
  6. A. J. Macfarlane and E. Dorkenoo, “Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales: National and local estimates.,” City University London in association with Equality Now. , 2015
  7. “FGM Enhanced Dataset Clinical Audit Platform Operational Guidance,” Health and Social Care Information Centre, [Online]. Available: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/media/16815/FGM-Enhanced-Dataset-Clinical-Audit-Platform-Operational-Guidance/doc/FGM_CAP_Operationa. [Accessed June 2016
  8. “Tackling & Preventing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – City and Hackney Strategy 2015-2018,” Hackney Council and City of London Corporation, 2016