After the school health services in Norrköping, Sweden, discovered that 30 girls in a group of newly arrived immigrants had undergone FGM, Anissa Mohammed Hassan, a Somali specialist co-leading a FGM pilot session, called for the introduction of genital examinations for all girls in Sweden aged six. “The problem we have in Sweden is that there are no checks . . . visiting a school nurse is optional”, she said.
After the incident in Norrköping, a new hard-line policy should has been introduced, where school nurses are trained to routinely question young girls about whether they have been mutilated or not. Many girls don’t know that what they have been through. They think that their problems – how they can’t pee or how they’re in pain – are shared by all the girls in the world. After being explained that this is not a problem that all girls share, many of them have reached out for help.
Ms. Hassan called for the policy to be rolled out across Sweden – all communities should follow the example of Norrköping!
The Desert Flower Foundation calls for continuous prevention work – Not only in Sweden but all over the world – in order to effectively stop FGM practices. Gynaecological checks and trainings for medical staff, teachers and social workers are important steps to recognize FGM, help the victims and to prevent new cases.