Burkina Faso: 'Catholic church blocks opening of hospital for FGM victims'

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (PANA) - An international non-profit organization, Clitoraid, has alleged that pressure from the Catholic Church and other detractors of the International Raelian Movement (IRM) forced the Burkinabe government to block the 7 March opening of its clitoral repair hospital.

Clitoraid offers clitoral repair surgery to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) victims and its clitoral repair hospital, known as the Kamkaso Hospital in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, and nicknamed “the Pleasure Hospital", is the first of its kind in the world.

Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, President of Clitoraid and spokesperson for the IRM, said in a statement here Tuesday that “Although the government has suddenly withdrawn its approval for surgeries to be performed there, this facility, once open, will provide free surgery for victims of female genital mutilation.

“The procedure repairs the physical damage they endured. But this wonderful mission has now been stymied by the Catholic Church and its cronies, who are conducting a smear campaign against it for their own selfish motives.”

Dr. Boisselier said Clitoraid will seek immediate legal redress through the courts, and insisted that “In the meantime, the surgeries we had scheduled will still take place over the next few weeks, at another hospital in Bobo-Dioulasso. We’re going ahead as planned.”

She said “Although the request for licensure of the new hospital was submitted in 2011 and we received repeated assurances from regional and national officials that the hospital could open on 7 March, the health minister of Burkina Faso has explained to a representative of AVFE, our local Clitoraid partner, that the license will not be approved for our scheduled inauguration date."

Quoting an official source, Dr. Boisselier explained that strong pressure from IRM detractors, especially the Catholic Church, was responsible for both the license refusal and the cancellation of the participation of the First Lady of Burkina Faso in the opening ceremony.

“By seeking to prevent our opening, the Catholic Church has become an accomplice of the criminals who mutilate the genitals of African women,” Boisselier declared, adding “Along with its mission of restoring mutilated clitorises for FGM victims, Clitoraid’s Pleasure Hospital will be a strong deterrent to those who still practice this barbaric custom. They would stop making the excisions since it’s foolish to destroy something that can be readily restored.”

“Those blocking our opening are the same criminals who support pedophile priests and money laundering by Vatican banks,” she said. “And their directives against using condoms are responsible for thousands of unnecessary AIDS deaths in Africa.”

“This pressure to close us down will only delay the opening,” she said. “Our attorneys are already looking into various legal options and there will also be worldwide protests in front of Burkina Faso’s embassies.”

“We will continue doing our best to help FGM victims get their dignity back as women and enjoy their right to enjoy physical pleasure and fulfillment,” she said.
-0- PANA VAO 4March2014

04 march 2014 14:56:01

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