GPs oppose screening for FGM

Author: Mark Gould

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The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) says that there is no evidence that screening in general practice would help eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Action: FGM - a coalition of police, barristers, charities and FGM survivors - is calling for every woman and girl to be screened for FGM. The story, published on the International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM, which was marked by the United Nations call to eradicate FGM to 2030, reports that the coalition is preparing to present the prime minister with their solutions to help end the “barbaric” practice.


Responding to the article RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall, said: "FGM is a horrific crime that affects women and girls around the world, including here in the UK, with serious long-term and in some cases fatal implications. It's appalling that it is still happening in the 21st century.

"The College views FGM as child abuse and we support Action: FGM's overall commitment to eradicate this crime by 2030. But there is currently no evidence that screening for FGM works – or analysis of the potential and unintended harms this could lead to - so we do not support GPs and other healthcare professionals working in general practice having to do this.

"This is not to say that GPs do not have a role in identifying women and girls who have had or who are at risk of FGM and it remains vital that GPs are aware of the symptoms, legal and safeguarding protocols and support networks that are available for these patients."

OnMedica.com was unable to contact Action: FGM for comment.

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