AROUND 60 new victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Bradford have been seen by NHS services over the last year.
While concentrated on larger cities across England, new figures show that cases are also found in the country’s smaller towns and rural regions.
Only approximate numbers were recorded, to prevent identification of victims.
But figures from NHS Digital show that in Bradford around 80 victims of FGM – where female genitals are cut, injured or changed for no medical reason – were seen by doctors, nurses or midwives over the last year.
Of those, around 60 were having their injuries recorded by NHS services for the first time.
Dr Anne Connolly, clinical lead for maternity, women’s and sexual health for NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “FGM is a crime and it is an offence to assist the practice either within or outside the UK
“For the women who have had FGM, it can cause constant pain, infection, urinary concerns along with problems during sex. It can also be linked to depression, self-harm and can cause life threatening complications if they become pregnant.
“We are a City of Sanctuary and many refugees come to the city from countries where FGM is practised – typically in North Africa.
“Recently, all health care practitioners have been required to ask and record whether women have had FGM carried out.