There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel for Senegalese women who have been ‘circumcised’ or rather excised – meaning whose clitoris have been cut or mutilated.
A medical technology, invented and developed by French doctor Pierre Foldes (61) in collaboration with his colleague and counterpart, urologist Jean-Antoine Robein, has begun repairing the clitoris of Senegal women to open a sweet window in their lives by giving them an opportunity to enjoy sex like everyone.
A couple of women who have already had their clitoris in Dakar repaired said they were satisfied with the process, and many more were in line to take advantage of the operation which is free of charge until the end of 2012.
The clitoris measures 10 cm long, and it is only 1 cm that is cut, the rest remains buried inside for the rest of the womans life, Dr Foldes revealed. The surgical intervention, which is the ultimate aspect of the new medical technology, lasts between 15 minutes and an hour to repair the clitoris, and it can take up to 4 months for the clit to recover and heal properly, according to Dr Foldes.
“Today, the dream has come true in Senegal. The country now has a technology to repair all sorts of genital mutilation,” Dr Foldes said.
“The fight against all forms of violence against women is a real struggle, and one of the most serious problems of our society,” Dr Foldes, a humanitarian and a die-hard campaigner in the fight against female circumcision, said.
Dr Foldes, a recipient of numerous awards including France’s prestigious Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, has led several humanitarian missions in developing countries, including Angola, Eritrea, Lebanon, Thailand, Vietnam and Burma. The technology was brought to Senegal thanks to the intervention of Senegalese doctor Abdul Aziz Kassé, a lecturer at the medical faculty of the Université Cheik Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD).
In the aim of decentralising the technology, seven local doctors have already been trained and will soon embark on a painstaking mission to repair thousands of women and girls who have been victims of what campaigners describe as a ‘barbaric’ traditional practice which humiliates women.
Female circumcision or excision is a widespread traditional practice in West Africa and in many parts of Egypt.
The figures are heart-stopping and overwhelming. It is believed that there are 95% and 77% of excised women in Guinea-Conakry and Burkina Faso, respectively. Globally, the number is believed to reach 130 million. In Senegal, the practice is rife in Tambacounda, Mbour, Thiadiaye, Ndoum, Casamance Sédhoiu, and rural parts of the Foulani areas in the north close to the Malian border.