By: 23 November 2018
Royal College launches new resource to help prevent Female Genital Mutilation

Healthcare professionals who carry out pre-travel consultations will be better equipped to deal with issues around Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), following the launch of a new free online course by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow’s Faculty of Travel Medicine.

FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women, but despite this currently more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone the procedure. 

This accredited online learning package has been produced by subject experts in the College’s Travel Medicine Faculty and is being made freely available to healthcare professionals. The course aims to assist nurses, pharmacists and doctors in overcoming the potential barriers there may be to raising the topic in a travel medicine consultation, and gives practical support to those who find themselves in this situation.

Its key features are:

  • It will help increase the confidence of travel medicine practitioners when addressing this very important issue in pre-travel consultations
  • It is free to access from the website 
  • It consists of a programme of videos, presentations and other information which takes around one hour to complete, and is CPD accredited

Launching this new online tool recently, Jane Chiodini, the Dean of the Faculty of Travel Medicine and the courses author said:

“FGM is child abuse. It is illegal to take girls under the age of 18 who are British nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM, whether or not the practice is lawful in that country. 

“In addition, if a practitioner suspects a child is at risk, we’re obliged to take action to support them. 

“But as a nurse who is a specialist in this area, I know that many of my colleagues who deliver travel health services don’t always have experience of identifying or dealing with this situation effectively. They may also lack the confidence to raise the topic of FGM in a travel consultation, especially when this takes place in a time-limited appointment. When this happens, the opportunity to prevent this horrific practice is tragically missed.

“That’s why our College has launched this new free to access e-learning module, developed by subject experts in the Faculty of Travel Medicine. Our free course looks at some of the perceived barriers to raising the topic, and explores the solutions which could be used to make practitioners more confident in dealing with this situation.  This is the first piece of supportive e learning education developed specifically for travel medicine practitioners, and as such is a great tool in the fight to combat FGM across the globe.”

Source: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Image: Jane Chiodini, the Dean of the Faculty of Travel Medicine