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Support for girls, women

Online resource aids the development of staff who address cases of genital mutilation. By Amie Larter. 

Nurses and midwives now have access to an online resource to inform those working with women and girls affected by, or at risk of, female genital mutilation (FGM).

The website is a portal for continuous professional development for nurses, midwives and other health professionals. It is a joint initiative between the Australian College of Nursing and the Australian College of Midwives.

The CEO of ACN, Debra Thoms, said that before today, the national dispersal of information and resources for health professionals in this area has been lacking.

“As nurses and midwives in our specific areas of practice, we now have a reliable knowledge base to inform our interactions and the care we provide to affected women and contribute to improved health outcomes for these women, their families and communities,” she told Nursing Review. “FGM Learning collates and links the range of resources and activities available on a national platform to enable ease of access by all health professionals.

“Through the exchange, not only will health professionals and other interested groups be able to see what is going on around Australia, they will be able to identify areas of potential need as well as opportunities for collaboration.”

The website was developed through funding from the Gillard government’s National Compact on FGM, which included a $1 million commitment for organisations wanting to act on FGM.

Thoms confirmed the compact followed Australia’s involvement in the 2012 United Nations resolution on FGM that called on all countries to act to eliminate the practice.

The resource is accessible at fgmlearning.org.au.

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