The University College Hospital clinic, initially to be held once a month while demand is assessed, will offer medical treatment and psychological help to girls up to 18, who have suffered or may be at risk of FGM – a ritual usually involving the partial or total removal of external genitalia. In its most extreme form the vaginal opening is also sewn up.
Gynaecologist Sarah Creighton and paediatrician Deborah Hodes decided to set up the clinic after noticing an increase in young patients with suspected FGM.
The clinic will liaise closely with police, social care and community groups and will provide evidence and expert witness statements for court cases. It will also help identify and protect girls at risk.”If a girl is found to have FGM clearly her sisters may also have had it done and they also then need to be seen by us,” Creighton told Thomson Reuters Foundation.