Midwife Aissa offers Hope to FGM victims
Hospital worker reaching out to those affected
A HILLINGDON midwife has spoken out to raise awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM).
The issue is close to the heart of Aissa Edon, who is one of Hillingdon Hospital’s community midwife team leaders,
She has worked with FGM victims for more than 10 years in France, Belgium and Switzerland and now the UK, all while in her full-time role at Hillingdon Hospital.
She tries to reach out to FGM victims in the local community and established the Hope Clinic in 2014, a centre based in Southall which helps women who have undergone FGM.
Ms Edon said problem of FGM the
is widespread and that she saw around 100 women at the centre in its first six months.
She said: “These were all pregnant women who were referred and voluntarily attended, but there are so many more women out there that are either afraid or unsure how to seek help.”
In 2015, Ms Edon was awarded the Mary Seacole Leadership Award in recognition of her work and to support her research project which aims to evaluate FGM care in the UK with a particular focus on the psychological and psychosexual needs of women who have undergone FGM.
This project will look at both women and their partner’s perspectives to find out expectations of care, good practice and identify areas for improvement.
The project includes Hillingdon Hospital, along with five other UK hospitals, which will host focus groups to gather information. The project’s findings should be published at the end of this year.
Ms Edon has also just been named as one of the BBC’s inspirational women for 2015 and was featured in the BBC World Service radio programme, Global Midwives, telling her own personal story.
She added: “Raising awareness is the first stage, but to truly tackle FGM we need to focus on prevention and education.
“Because the consequences of FGM are so far reaching, we need an approach that promotes education throughout society, including medical professionals, teachers and the police.”
n INSPIRATIONAL: Hillingdon midwife Aissa Edon