Description du projet :
Background: In 2016, UNICEF estimated the number of women and girls who have been victims of Female genital mutilation (FGM), excision, cutting or infibulation to 200 million worldwide. The number of potential new victims is 3 million each year. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the WHO estimated prevalence in 1999 was 5%. FGM has a profound impact on the physical and mental health of victims. There are scientific gaps on the consequences of FGM at perineal level. Reviews illustrate incoherence and a need of investigation and data to assess the consequences at urological, gynaecological and sexual level. This step is the basis for considering adequate perineal rehabilitation. Currently, the DRC does not have national data on the prevalence and consequences of FGM. The project to collaborate with the DRC is initiated from an ambition of the pelvic-perineal rehabilitation unit of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (University Clinics of Kinshasa/Faculty of Medicine, University of Kinshasa) to change the situation in relation to women and to be able to offer this population adequate care. The project is part of a collaboration with two investigators: Professor Kipula (UNIKIN) in Kinshasa (DRC) and Professor Bertuit (HESAV-HES-SO) in Lausanne (Switzerland). Three partners will take part in the project: Professor Feipel (ULB) in Brussels (Belgium), Doctor Abdulcadir (HUG) in Geneva and Professor Mukwege in Bukavu (DRC). This project pursues two objectives:
- To assess consequences of FGM at perineal level (urinary, sexual and gynaecologic) in the DRC
- To carry out an investigation of the current care modalities for these patients bearing consequences of FGM and to analyse their needs (education, access to care, etc.) in the DRC.
Methods: A mixed method research will include a quantitative design allowing a cross-sectional study in a sample of women with different forms of FGM (n = 131) and a control group (n = 131). Outcomes on urinary, sexual and gynaecologic aspects will be collected. This study also includes a qualitative study with a phenomenological approach. Individual semi-structured interviews and focus groups will be conducted with women who have undergone FGM, men partners, caregivers, people carrying out FGM, teachers and tribal leaders. Interview topics will be the following: consequences of FGM at perineal level, current cares, needs at care level. The project will be realised over four years in the most affected provinces of the DRC: Nord Ubangi, Bas-Uele, Haut-Uele, Ecuador, Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental. The method for cross-referencing data will be the Sequential Explanatory Method described by Creswell (2013).
Expected results and their impact on the ground:
-Provide the identification of consequences of FGM at perineal (urological, gynaecological and sexual) spheres for the long term (more than 10 to 20 years after FGM procedure) and risk factors for women with FGM in the DRC. The study will contribute to scientific progress and fill scientific gaps by illustrating the impact of FGM on women’s different physiological levels.
-Based on the global context in the DRC, the need for rehabilitation will be identified and the resources available to the DRC will be established. Rehabilitation strategies adapted to the country's context can be identified.
-With communications and publications of reports, the project’s aim is to provide relevant data to make the teaching of health professionals evolve by training them adequately to help this population.
-At political level, the study will provide scientific evidence advising and enabling the country to pass a specific law against the practice and to organise government campaigns to inform the public on the impact of FGM on women’s sexual, urinary and gynaecological functions.
Research team within HES-SO:
Durée du projet:
01.05.2021 - 01.05.2026
Archivage des données: