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Tanzania baby dies from FGM as forum demands better education

Anti FGM campaign run by Children Dignity Forum (CDF) in TanzaniaAnti FGM campaign run by Children Dignity Forum (CDF) in Tanzania

A baby dies from FGM as forum demands better education and an end to 'gifts'.

Sources: Tanzania Daily News | The Citizen

TANZANIA: Three women have been charged with murdering a four-month babygirl. The baby lost her life due to excessive loss of blood after her genital was mutilated.

The baby was circumcised after suffering from diarrhoea and persistent vomiting. Her parents believed that mutilating her genital would cure the disease she was suffering from traditionally known, as ‘Lawalawa.’

The news comes days after an anti- FGM campaign held in Tarime said that gifts including, money and vitenge are encouraging girls to rush for circumcision in certain parts of the country.

Mr Thomas Joseph, a resident of Tarime told the the forum that campaigners against FGM are always frustrated by such inducements offered to girls making the practice difficult to be eliminated from the community.

The forum was organized by Children Dignity Forum (CDF) through a project titled; "Mobilizing actions to safeguard girls rights" in a bid to step up a campaign geared at cutting the number of girls lined up for circumcision in Tarime area this season. It was attended by religious leaders, traditional and local leaders, female circumcisers (nga'ribas), parents, media practitioners, young girls and community development officials based in Tarime.

"We have decided to bring key stakeholders together as part of interventions at this time when many girls are lined up for circumcision in Tarime district.

"We have also been given an opportunity to pass and deliver anti-FGM messages in village meetings where we spent at least 30 minutes in every village", CDF's project coordinator, Mr Joram Wimmo told the 'Daily News' here.

Under the project CDF has been striving to enhance campaign against FGM, child marriages and early pregnancies in the Northern Tarime district.

Also Read: Female Genital Mutilation: Edirin's Story

The local NGO is getting technical support from Forward of UK and sponsored by COMIC Relief also from UK.

Mr Joseph called for frequent anti-FGM campaign dialogues in the area as well as the introduction of the subject in schools.

Another speaker, Ms Ester Andrew, noted that the cost of FGM ceremonies often prevented education of girls

"FGM ceremonies are consuming a lot of money that could be spent to educate our youths".

Available reports indicate that about 4,000 young girls, mostly school children, undergo circumcision in various parts of Tarime during the traditional season (between November and December).

FGM is illegal according to Tanzanian law.