The need for and acceptability of a curriculum to train nursing and medical students in the sexual healthcare of clients with female genital mutilation/cutting in Tanzania

Dorkasi L. Mwakawanga, Agnes F. Massae, Nidhi Kohli, Gift Gadiel Lukumay, Corissa T. Rohloff, Stella Emmanuel Mushy, Lucy R. Mgopa, Dickson Ally Mkoka, Ever Mkonyi, Maria Trent, Michael W. Ross, B. R.Simon Rosser, Jennifer Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is tied to one of the most conservative cultures in the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa. More than 200 million girls and women in 30 African, Asian and the middle Eastern countries have undergone FGM/C. However, healthcare professionals are not adequately trained to prevent and manage FGM/C-related complications including sexual health problems. This study aimed to assess the need and acceptability of a curriculum to train nursing and medical students in the sexual healthcare of clients with FGM/C in Tanzania. Methods: We used a descriptive and cross sectional study design to collect and analyse information from 271 medical and 137 nursing students in Tanzania. A Qualtrics online survey was used to obtain quantitative data on training interest, previous training received, and the curriculum delivery method. Open-ended questions were used to explore their insights on significance to obtain the necessary competencies to treat and prevent FGM/C. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze quantitative data while qualitative data were analyzed using a thematic approach. Results: Almost half of the participants reported they had little to no training in sexual healthcare for women with FGM/C (47%). In all, 82.4% reported the training to be acceptable. Following thematic analysis of open-ended questions, participants expressed a desire to improve their competencies to meet the current and future sexual and psychological health needs of women and girls who have undergone FGM/C. Conclusion: It is a necessary and acceptable to develop a curriculum to train healthcare students to diagnose, treat and prevent sexual health complications related to FGM/C. In our study, designing a culturally sensitive curriculum and its delivery method, that includes practical sessions with simulated patients, was considered the most beneficial and favorable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number198
JournalBMC Women's Health
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

Keywords

  • Curriculum
  • Female genital cutting
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Mutilation
  • Sexual health
  • Tanzania

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