Clitoraid surgeon to speak in Toronto about clitoral restoration surgery for victims of female genital mutilation

2월 02 2015, 종류: 보도자료
TORONTO, Feb. 4 – Dr. Harold Henning, volunteer surgeon for Clitoraid, a humanitarian organization that assists victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), will speak at the Humber College Lakeshore Campus in Toronto on Friday, Feb. 6, at 11 a.m., in honor of United Nations Zero Tolerance for FGM Day.

Henning, an American gynecologist, recently received permanent residency status in Canada. As a Clitoraid volunteer surgeon, he performs a revolutionary clitoral restoration procedure for FGM victims in both the United States and in Burkina Faso, West Africa, where Clitoraid is about to open the Kamkaso Pleasure Hospital in Bobo Dioulasso. The procedure restores clitoral functioning and the ability to experience sexual pleasure.

In addressing graduate students from the International Development Institute at Humber’s College Lakeshore Campus, Henning will focus on his life-changing, humanitarian mission to Bobo Dioulasso last March. While there, he and another Clitoraid surgeon, Dr. Marci Bowers, operated on 38 FGM victims.

“These women, like millions of others in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world, endured the horrific practice of genital cutting when they were little girls,” Henning explained. “For most of their lives, they lived with a mutilated vulva and multiple health consequences, plus the inability to feel sexual pleasure. They were thankful to be free from this brutal past and to be given back their human dignity, in which sexual pleasure and integrity plays a central role.”

Throughout the year, Dr. Henning operates on FGM patients in Upstate, New York, U.S.A. Although FGM victims from Australia, Europe, Indonesia, Africa and the Middle East seek Clitoraid’s assistance, hundreds of thousands of victims also reside in North America, according to Henning.

“Many genitally mutilated women have migrated to Western countries,” he said. “An increasing number of them are actively seeking ways to reverse the damage done to them by FGM. Over and over, patients confide that FGM has ruined their lives and relationships.”

Henning said he is looking forward to training Canadian gynecologists in performing the clitoral repair procedure. And he hopes Canada will eventually cover patient costs, as France does now.

In Bobo Dioulasso, Feb. 6 will be celebrated on the grounds of Clitoraid’s Kamkaso Pleasure Hospital, where FGM-recovered patients and those awaiting surgery will gather.

On Int. Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women this Nov. 25, Clitoraid reaffirms its determination to fight against excision and to inaugurate the Pleasure Hospital

11월 25 2014, 종류: 보도자료
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 25 - According to the World Health Organization, the number of women and girls who have suffered the consequences of FGM is currently estimated at 165 million. And if the current trend continues, some 86 million girls worldwide are at risk of genital mutilation between now and the year 2030. Although many of them are African, Nadine Gary, Clitoraid’s Director of Communications - an international NGO based in the USA - said in a statement issued today that “the problem is now global and it should be eradicated once and for all."

"Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," Gary said. "This means that the integrity of the individual, her dignity, and the physical autonomy of her body, including her genitalia, should in no way be violated against her will.”

"And this includes, women’s right to their sensuality and to their pleasure, as well as sexual pleasure," Gary added. Unfortunately, this right to sensuality and pleasure is still far from being recognized and taken into account in the fight to stop violence (including FGM) against women. Yet it is a fundamental right. Women are still strongly denied this right today. For instance, in Kenya, while justice is fighting against female circumcision, women are forcefully undressed in public because they are deemed too sexy. And in the UK, reconstructive surgery still does not include the clitoris (because it is considered an organ "only" for pleasure). Only the surgery to free the opening of the vagina is available, not to repair the clitoris."

To restore dignity to these women and their rights to pleasure, the grand opening of the Kamkasso Hospital (also called "Pleasure Hospital") built by Clitoraid in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, is a necessity. Clitoraid, which fights against FGM since 2006, doubled down in its efforts to open this hospital on Feb. 6, 2015, a day the UN has declared, "Zero Tolerance to FGM."

"We offer a clitoral reconstructive surgery for victims of female circumcision," Gary stated.

Due to religious discrimination, adverse administrative misfortune have unfortunately delayed the hospital’s inauguration, and consequently the opening had to be postponed. However, Clitoraid’s American surgeons, all volunteers, have nevertheless been able to help 38 victims of genital mutilation at a nearby clinic. These patients came from Burkina Faso, other countries in West Africa and the Horn of Africa as well. Alas, Clitoraid’s waiting lists still count hundreds of other women and these women beg us every day to help them regain their dignity as a woman and their sense of pleasure (our surgeries are free).

The Clitoraid team works tirelessly for the hospital’s grand opening to take place in the spring of 2015 and any financial help is welcome.

Gary explains that during the inauguration of the hospital "volunteer surgeons such as Dr. Marci Bowers and Dr. Harold Henning will travel to Burkina Faso to launch this historic humanitarian mission and will then travel to Kenya to train other surgeons in Nairobi. Thanks to these doctors’ generosity, to donors, to all the Clitoraid volunteers, and to modern science, victims of female circumcision will be able to regain their sense of physical pleasure that was so brutally taken away from them. Their dignity as a woman will finally be restored."

Open Letter to Mrs. Compaore, First Lady of Burkina Faso, following her appearance on the show Africanité on TV5 World

10월 14 2014, 종류: 보도자료
Mrs. Compaore,

Please accept our sincere congratulations for your appearance on the show Africanité on channel TV5, this past September 27. We wish to express our heartfelt admiration and joy for your continued support in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Faso including your support to Avfe-ClitorAid during the grand opening of our Kamkaso Hospital in Bobo Dioulasso that you had planned to inaugurate this past spring.

Unfortunately, several unpleasant and deliberate administrative setbacks resulting from religious discrimination delayed the opening and inauguration of the Hospital. Consequently, the ceremony had to be postponed. But despite this difficulty, our American surgeon volunteers were still able to help 38 FGM victims at a nearby clinic. These patients were from Burkina Faso, other neighboring countries, as well as from the Horn of Africa, all eager to undergo the surgical procedure. But today, the reality is that our waiting lists still grow and we have hundreds more women who implore us every day to help them regain their dignity and sense of pleasure as a woman. (Our surgeries are completely free for charge)

This is why your recent interview on TV5-world has caught our attention again. As you know, it has now been ten years since we first engaged in this battle that means a lot to you. But unfortunately, our humanitarian association is still unable to help these circumcised women in spite of the fact that our hospital has been fully equipped and operational to treat women for the past six months. To this end, you can imagine the frustration our four American doctors and surgeons experienced this past March when their temporary licenses to practice, which were initially issued by the Faso Board of Doctors, were arbitrarily revoked in the midst of a humanitarian undertaking that the First Lady of Burkina Faso holds so dear.

After listening to your speech on TV5 we would be more than happy to help you in this great humanitarian cause and await this opportunity with great enthusiasm. Your full support would be incredibly meaningful to the hundreds of women who are still waiting to be treated. It goes without saying that the sooner the better because each month that goes by without the use of our hospital is another cry of pain for these women who have been scarred by circumcision.

We eagerly wish to inaugurate our hospital on February 6, 2015, a day that the UN has decreed, "Zero Tolerance Day for FGM." On that day, we would be honored by your presence that you so generously promised in October 2013 and again in March 2014.

With your latest televised support for the abolition of Female Genital Mutilation and the violence against women, we are confident that the administration of your country will reexamine our request with better judgment and facilitate the opening of our hospital dedicated to your cause. It is also our hope that this will be done prior to "Zero Tolerance Day to FGM" and without any problem for our American surgeon volunteers who dedicate part of their lives to this great humanitarian cause and who do not deserve to have their licenses revoked by the Burkinabe Board of Doctors for unsubstantiated reasons.

Our excised sisters deserve the best from all of us regardless of our individual spiritual differences. And what great opportunity to make it happen in Burkina Faso, the best example of this rich and respectful symbiosis of diverse spiritual communities.

We hope to hear from you soon.

In the meantime, please accept, Madam, our warmest regards.

Nadine Gary

Communications Director

Clitoraid and Raelian Movement win major defamation case in West Africa

7월 06 2014, 종류: 보도자료
Obstetrician/gynecologist who opposed AVFE/CLITORAID Kamkaso Hospital opening must pay punitive damages

LAS VEGAS, July 7 – In a verdict released on June 30, the Ouagadougou Supreme Court of Burkina Faso, West Africa, found Professor Charlemagne Marie Ouedraogo guilty of defaming the Raelian Church of Bukina Faso. The court sentenced Ouedraogo to a stiff fine of 100, 000 FCFA plus 1 million FCFA in punitive damages, payable to the Raelian Church. He must also pay for the cost of the trial.

AVFE/Clitoraid’s Kamkaso Hospital, the world’s first clinic to offer free repair surgery for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), had scheduled its grand opening for March 7, 2014, but Ouedraogo and others vigorously opposed it. Subsequently, Burkina Faso’s Health Minister issued a last-minute decision denying the facility the right to open.

“That decision caused continued suffering and disappointment for our patients, many of whom had traveled long distances to have the surgery,” said Clitoraid Communications Director Nadine Gary. “Our volunteer doctors and nurses who had flown in from abroad to do the surgeries were shocked, as were the thousands of donors whose financial contributions made the hospital construction possible.”

Gary said Ouedraogo issued a defamatory letter on February 24, 2014, in which he referred to the Kamkaso Hospital project as “a big scam campaign organized by Rael’s cult.”

“He wrote that letter shortly after we issued a press release announcing the hospital opening, and his comments could easily have prompted the Health Minister’s decision,” Gary said. “In fact, the letter even included the statement, ‘The minister and the governor have decided to stop this intoxication campaign.’ At any rate, the Health Minister refused to grant us authorization to open the clinic, and after that, the Medical Association repealed our volunteer doctors’ licenses to practice in Burkina Faso.”

The Raelian Church and the AVFE/CLITORAID Association subsequently filed the defamation lawsuit against Ouedraogo.

“We’re elated with the court ruling,” Gary said. “Professor Ouedraogo and his supporters should be ashamed for blocking our humanitarian effort. They catered to personal interests at the expense of women who suffer daily from FGM effects. When our hospital finally opens to help them, it will be a great success story that people will talk about for years to come."
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