Objectives: To assess the knowledge, attitude and training on female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) amongst medical and midwifery professionals working in an area of high prevalence of the condition.
Study design: Prospective observational study using a questionnaire designed to assess knowledge, attitude and training received by health care professionals on the practice of FGM/C. Factors which may affect knowledge, attitude and training were compared between groups.
Results: 92.9% (n=79) questionnaires were returned. All respondents were aware of FGM/C but only 27.8% correctly identified the grade from a simple diagram. Three quarters (72.4% and 77.2% respectively) were aware of the complications of FGM/C and of the legislation in the United Kingdom. Of the respondents, 13.9% agreed that a competent adult should be allowed to consent to FGM/C if requested but only 8.9% agreed that the procedure should be medicalised to reduce the associated morbidity. Less than 25% of respondents had received formal training in recognising or managing this condition.
Conclusion: Although the majority of respondents were aware of FGM/C, their ability to identify the condition and its associated morbidity remain suboptimal; more training is recommended in larger cities with a higher prevalence of this condition.
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