Egypt closes hospital where girl died after procedure now banned by government

by WorldTribune Staff, May 31, 2016

Egyptian authorities closed a hospital and prosecutors are investigating after a 17-year-old girl died during an outlawed female circumcision operation.

Mayar Mohamed Mousa, 17, died while under full anesthesia in El Canal hospital in Suez province on May 29, said Lotfi Abdel-Samee, the health ministry undersecretary in the province.

A 2013 UNICEF report found that 27.2 million people had undergone FMG procedures in Egypt – more than any other country in the world. /AFP/Getty Images
A 2013 UNICEF report found that 27.2 million females had undergone FGM procedures in Egypt – more than any other country in the world. /AFP/Getty Images

“This is something that the law has prohibited,” Abdel-Samee said.

The ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) has been in effect since 2008 but is still widespread in Egypt, especially in rural areas. It is practiced among Muslims as well as Egypt’s minority Christians.

On May 29, Mousa’s sister had just undergone the operation before the 17-year-old was sent in for surgery.

The girls’ mother is a nurse, while their late father was a surgeon. The operation was being carried out by a registered female doctor, according to Abdel-Samee.

The United Nations Development Program said in a report last year that while 92 percent of mothers in Egypt had undergone the procedure, only 35 percent of them “intend to circumcise their daughters.”

Medical professionals say victims of the procedure are left with a range of consequences from bleeding and pain while urinating, extreme discomfort during sex, fatal complications in childbirth and deep psychological trauma.

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