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Girl died after FGM procedure, medics say

Saturday February 23 2019

FGM in Meru

A 14-year-old girl died in Meru County after she was circumcised. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

DAVID MUCHUI
By DAVID MUCHUI
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Medics have confirmed that a girl, 14, who died at Mwanika in Igembe Central in December last year succumbed to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) complications.

Nyambene Level Four Hospital medical superintendent Dr Michael Kariuki, who performed a post-mortem on Jelida Gaichuiri’s body, said she died from severe pneumonia after an infection on the FGM wound.

The body of the 14-year-old has been lying at the morgue for the last two and half months after her parents went into hiding.

“The postmortem was conducted following a directive from the family. We can confirm that the girl was circumcised. The wound was infected by bacteria which caused severe pneumonia. Specifically, she died from Cardiorespiratory arrest due to severe pneumonia and sepsis as a result of an infected type two FGM wound,” Dr Kariuki said.

The post-mortem was done even as a confusion raged over where she would be laid to rest following reports that the family was not ready to bury the victim.

Ms Catherine Thiakunu, an anti-FGM crusader who has been spearheading a search for justice for Jelida said the post-mortem was done after she convinced an uncle to approve the process.

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“The family has already paid the hospital to dispose the body. The grandmother claims there is no land to bury the deceased. I understand that they are against her burial because tradition does not allow the burying a childless person,” Ms Thiakunu said.

She said they were engaging Njuri Ncheke elders to convince the family to accept the body so as to accord the late Jelida a descent send-off.

Ms Thiakunu raised concern over rampant cases of FGM in Igembe noting that records indicate that up to 15 girls are admitted in hospital due to circumcision related complications every year.

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