Sexual and reproductive health

Estimating the obstetric costs of female genital mutilation in six African countries

Research summary

UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP)

Front page

Publication details

Number of pages: 2
Publication date: 2011
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/RHR/11.17


A seminal study by WHO from 2006 (1) documented for the first time that female genital mutilation (FGM) is associated with increased risk for birth complications, affecting both mother and child. The risk increased commensurate with the severity of the procedure.

Building on these prior estimates of obstetric risks linked to FGM, a study was conducted estimating the cost to the health system of obstetric complications due to female genital mutilation in the same six African countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan) in which the original study was carried out.

(1) WHO Study Group on Female Genital Mutilation and Obstetric Outcome (2006). Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome: WHO collaborative prospective study in six African countries. Lancet, 367:1835- 1841. (