Objective: To estimate the number of women with female genital mutilation (FGM) living in Belgium, the number of girls at risk, and the target population of medical and social services (MSSs) concerned.
Methods: Data about prevalence of FGM from the most recently published Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys were applied to females living in Belgium who migrated from countries where excision or infibulation are being practised, and to their daughters.
Results: Amongst the 22,840 women and girls living in Belgium who are from a country concerned, 6,260 have 'most probably already undergone a FGM' (women born in the country of origin), and 1,975 are 'at risk' (second generation born in Belgium). The target population of MSSs comprises 1,190 girls less than five years old attending well-baby clinics, 1,690 girls aged 5-19 years attending preventive school health centres, 4,905 women 20-49 years old and 450 women over 50 years of age attending reproductive health services. The population of women concerned is unequally dispersed in Belgium and reflects the distribution of migrant settlement in the different provinces.
Conclusion: FGM in Belgium requires a more concerted approach in terms of prevention, and medical and social care. Accurate information about the distribution of women concerned should permit better planning of competent services.