CAIRO: The body of a young girl has been referred to the Forensic Medicine department after she died in a circumcision operation at a private hospital in Suez, Youm7 reported Sunday.
The mother, a nurse, requested a burial permission be issued, claiming she died while removing adenoids from her lower belly. However, Suez Health Inspector Sedqi Sedhom refused the request after he discovered the girl had gone through female genital mutilation (FGM.)
The body of the girl, Mayar Mohamed, has been placed in Suez Public Hospital morgue until the Forensic Medicine department examines it. The twin of the girl was also circumcised, but survived the operation.
A source at Suez prosecution told Youm7 the doctor who performed the operation is a surgeon famous in Suez.
A “state of anxiety” took over the hospital in fear of a wide-scale investigation into the incident and past FGM operations, according to Youm7.
Some 76 percent of girls undergo female genital mutilation at the hands of licensed doctors, despite its illegality, whereas midwives circumcise only 22 percent, according to a 2015 population health survey issued by the Ministry of Health.
Parties involved in a girl’s genital mutilation face a prison term of three months to two years or a fine of 1,000 to 5,000 EGP. Although the law was issued in 2008, its first application only took place in January 2014, where a doctor who circumcised a 13-year-old girl was sentenced to two years in prison after she died of complications in 2013. The doctor had been acquitted in a previous ruling, but prosecutors appealed the sentence.
Egypt has the largest number of women who have been subjected to genital cutting in the world, according to the World Health Organization. A 45 percent-decline among girls age 15-17 is expected over 15 years, according to the 2008 Egyptian Demographic Health Survey (EDHS.)
FGM among girls in the age group 15-17 years old in 2015 marked 61 percent in 2015, declining by 13 percent from 2008, according to a 2015 Demographic Health Survey report.
In 2015, Egypt announced a strategic plan to reduce the FGM rate to 15 percent over five years in coordination with the United Nations Population Fund.
Additional reporting by Sayed Noun