The ablation or mutilation of the genitals it is still today a practice suffered by two million women - especially of African origin - every year in the world, even though it is legally prohibited in 20 of the 28 African countries in which it is carried out.
Also women residing in other countries of the Middle East and Asia, as well as the immigrant population of twelve other countries of the European Union, are at risk of being subjected to genital mutilation. And the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are between 100 and 140 million women worldwide who have already been victims of ablation.
Another serious injury that affects African women is the vaginal fistula, which does not exist in developed countries thanks to the medical care that women receive during childbirth. Vaginal fistula can occur as a result of a difficult delivery -especially in teenage pregnancies-, or rape, something very common also in these countries, where sexual violence against women is widespread and marriages with girls abound.
The genital mutilation causes pain, hemorrhages, infections and death in the short term and, later on, the woman can also suffer sterility, urinary infections and pregnancies at risk
The fistula communicates vagina and bladder and, sometimes, also the rectum, which causes urine and feces to flow out of control. In addition to the stench, which causes these women to be socially repudiated, this problem causes them recurrent infections and can end up dying due to lack of medical care.
Dr. Pere Barri is the first Spanish doctor to have performed a clitoral reconstruction, and directs a team from the Dexeus Foundation of Barcelona that develops a free program to treat the ablation of this sexual organ. According to this expert, the consequences of this mutilation are pain, hemorrhages, infections, urinary retention, tetanus, and even death, in the short term and, later, the woman can also suffer from sterility, urinary tract infections and risk pregnancies, both for her and for the future baby.