AU donates $5,000 to Ethiopian Fistula Hospital

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Addis Ababa, 20 March 2014 (WIC) - African Union Commission has announced a donation of 5,000 Dollars to the Ethiopian Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa to mark the 103rd International Women’s Day.
The Chairperson of the Commission, Dr Dlamini Zuma, made the announcement at a dinner held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Zuma , who also made a personal donation of 1,000 Dollars to the hospital, said the money  would be used to settle the bills of afflicted persons and condemned the practice of Female Genital Mutilation.   

“Female genital mutilation is not only a health and human rights issue, it is also a social issue.   

“As women develop fistula, they face many social problems, abandoned by their husbands, families and communities and often left as destitute and live as outcasts.

“We must, therefore, intensify the campaign until female genital mutilation is completely eradicated across the world,” she said.   

The AUC chairperson called for adequate framework to ensure protection of girls’ rights “if Africa must develop, grow and realise its full potential“.

On the occasion, a representative of UNFPA, Ethiopia Country Office, Berhanu Legesse, expressed concern over the rising cases of fistula on the continent.

Berhanu said that available data showed that more than 125 million girls and women on the continent had been subjected to the practice, with 86 million girls born between 2010 and 2015 at risk of being cut before 2030.

She said another 30 million girls were at risk of being cut in the next decade, with an average of 8,000 girls daily going through the ritual.   

While noting that there were ongoing policy, legal, traditional and religious efforts to arrest the situation, he appealed for more urgent and multifaceted initiatives to sustain actions against the practice. (punchng.com)