Mid­wife Aissa of­fers Hope to FGM vic­tims

Hos­pi­tal worker reach­ing out to those af­fected

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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