According to FORWARD (2005), data presented in a Female Genital Fact Sheet indicated that Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is traditionally carried out by elderly women ‘specialized’ in this task and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) – usually without anaesthetics and with crude instruments such as razor blades, knives and broken shards of glass. This paper looks into the health implications of female genital cutting in west Pokot community and further identifies the promotional health strategies adopted by the community during the process. The study was carried out in Sook location of West Pokot District of West Pokot County. This area was randomly selected out of the four locations in the District. A descriptive cross-sectional, qualitative research design was used for the study. Interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect data. The study considered 63 participants for interviews, all above 18 years, 9 key informants and 54 members of 7 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with between 6-10 participants of each group. The study identified demerits of the FGC practice as predisposition of girls to infections like HIV/AIDS, bleeding, though most participants said this could result from other reasons like witchcraft. Incompletion of education was also said to be one of the demerits of the FGC. Affirmation of community identity and promotion of positive aspects of culture which boosts self-esteem in the community while preventing physical and psychological harm to women and girls should be advocated for through alternative rituals and Cultural day initiatives.
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