From May 2 to May 13, the U.S.-based, non-profit organization Clitoraid will launch its first humanitarian mission in Nairobi, Kenya, offering clitoral restorative surgery to victims of female genital mutilation (FGM).
According to Clitoraid Spokesperson Nadine Gary, this new mission is part of the multiple actions planned during the month of May, the month of Clitoris Awareness.
“Dr. Marci Bowers, Clitoraid’s gynecological surgeon, will operate on 40 women in Kenya. Clitoraid partners with the Kenyan non-governmental organization Garana and Dr. Abdullahi Adan, a plastic reconstructive surgeon in this endeavor.”
“Dr. Bowers will restore sexual pleasure to 40 patients,” Gary said. “But those having surgery next week are only a few of the many FGM survivors who have contacted us, desperately seeking to be made whole again.” (According to a 2013 UNICEF report, a quarter of all Kenyan women are victims of the barbaric custom of FGM, also known as “cutting.”)
Gary said Bowers will also train local surgeons during her stay in Kenya.
“She’ll present the clitoral restorative technique developed by French urologist Dr. Pierre Foldes,” Gary explained. “Clemence Linard, our clinical sexologist in France, will also participate, offering counseling to patients and sharing her expertise with Kenyan sexologist Dr. Tammary Esho, who volunteered to assist.”
Clitoraid’s humanitarian mission began in 2004.
“International spiritual leader Maitreya Rael during one of his visits to West Africa in 2003, learned of the gruesome practice of mutilating girls’ genitals,” Gary said. “He launched Clitoraid not just to launch an educational campaign against FGM but to provide the surgery that repairs the damage inflicted on its victims.”
Gary said Clitoraid has already operated on over 250 FGM survivors, mainly in the United States, where 500,000 victims reside today.
“Among our former patients is Jaha Dukereh, a U.S. resident born in the Gambia,” Gary said. “Last year she was named one of Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ in recognition of her anti-FGM activism. She calls her restorative surgery through Clitoraid ‘a life-changing experience’.”
Meanwhile, Clitoraid’s first hospital dedicated to FGM victims and their medical needs in West Africa is still awaiting licensure in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
“Corrupt male politicians and greedy doctors prevented our 2014 opening, oblivious to the anger and despair of countless local FGM patients,” Gary said.