Objective: To estimate the influence of the 2007 criminalization law on the prevalence and yearly incidence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Upper Egypt and assess the attitudes of both the population and their health providers toward FGM.
Methods: Between September 15, 2008, and September 15, 2010, all girls and young women presenting at the Departments of Gynecology and Obstetrics or Pediatrics of Sohag and Qena University Hospitals were invited to answer a questionnaire, which was also presented to their parents. Another questionnaire was presented to all nurses, young physicians, and senior physicians working at either hospital.
Results: The prevalence of FGM was 89.2%. The incidence was 9.6% in 2000, began to decrease in 2006, and had reached 7.7% at the end of the study period in 2009 (P=0.05). In their vast majority, the procedures were performed by general practitioners. In total, 88.2%, 34.3% and 14.9% of nurses, young physicians, and senior physicians, respectively, approved the practice.
Conclusion: The incidence of FGM is still very high in Upper Egypt in spite of the criminalization law. While general practitioners perform most procedures, most nurses are in favor of preserving the practice.
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