Anti-FGM campaigner to train Newham nurses and social workers about practice

A woman who survived female genital mutilation as a teenager will be leading training sessions to help school nurses and social workers raise awareness about the practice.

Campaigner Alimatu Dimonekene, who was cut at the age of 16 while living in Sierra Leone, will be leading training sessions for school nurses and social workers in Newham to make them aware of the risks and complications associated with FGM.

The session for school nurses will be held on September 18 at the Lord Lister Health Centre in Forest Gate while the one for social workers will take place at Newham Dockside on September 25.

Alimatu. a FGM Prevention and Support Caseworker for health organisation Manor Gardens, works as a trainer at Newham FGM services. She said: ”Newham has a huge prevalence of FGM and there are lots of women and girls living in Newham that have been affected by FGM.

“It goes with forced marriage, domestic and sexual violence and Newham Council has commissioned our services to help deal with that.

“We provide training for professionals to raise their awareness for recording and reporting FGM so that women feel confident and also so that professionals are kept up to date because there have been changes in the way FGM is approached.

“A lot of communities in Newham are taking part in practices that they have done for many many years but they don’t know that they are now illegal or that they are child abuse.

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“It is about supporting women and girls who are affected by FGM, we don’t want to stigmatise the community. It is very important to train and support school nurses as their role is quite crucial in preventing and safeguarding girls at risk.”