Reversal of Female Genital Mutilation

The Desert Flower Centre offers holistic care for women and girls who are victims of female genital multilation.

Background of Desert Flower Center Australia – South Australia

Over 80,000 girls and women in Australia are negatively affected by Female Genital Mutilation or FGM. Every 17 seconds, a child is mutilated in the world. FGM reversal surgery overseas costs women over $20,000. This has created a need for a Desert Flower Center in Australia. The vision to start up Desert Flower Australia was initiated by Nadia Willison at her 21st birthday. Nadia dedicated her birthday to raise donations to help establish the centre.

The director of NoFGM Oz, Ms Khadija Gbla, has asked Dr Fariba Behnia-Willison to be an ambassador and treating surgeon. To establish Desert Flower Australia, Dr Behnia-Willison has partnered with Dr Tran Nguyen to open Australia’s first Desert Flower Clinic. This clinic specialises in the reversal of FGM related to gynaecological issues and sexual dysfunction.

On 3 April 2018, Dr Willison and Dr Nguyen met with Desert Flower team in Berlin, Germany. The meeting highlighted the holistic structural support to aid the Australian team in helping women with FGM.

The Desert Flower Center celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2018. Our team hopes to host the opening of the charity with the NoFGM Foundation and United Nation ambassador, Ms Waris Dirie.

Click on images above to see larger version.

What is Female Genital Mutilation?

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) refers to intentional alteration or removal of parts of the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of human rights.

It is performed on children causing a physical and psychological impact. It is often performed without adequate anesthesia and carried out in unsterile and unsafe environments.

Millions of girls and women worldwide are affected by the practice of FGM. Several countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia are at an increased risk of this practice. Australian women are also not immune. Immigration can bring the practice into our country as well as the UK and the USA.

The long-term effects of FGM are still felt amongst many Australian girls and women living with the repercussions and trauma they received from the practice back home. The announcement of the centre signals hope and restores resilience. It also creates an opportunity to place South Australia on the map as a global leader in the No FGM movement.

The complications from FGM can be serious and life-threatening. Many victims are suffering from recurrent urinary tract infection, pelvic pain, dyspareunia, obstetric trauma and psychological distress.

The World Health Organization has classified FGM into four main types:

  • Type 1: Commonly called clitoridectomy. Total or partial removal of clitoris.
  • Type 2: Commonly called excision. Total or partial removal of clitoris as well as labia minora, and possibly the labia majora.
  • Type 3: Commonly called infibulation. Narrowing of vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal.
  • Type 4: any other harmful procedure performed on the female genitalia.

Dr Behnia-Willison and Dr Nguyen, in collaboration with our multidisciplinary team, will utilise their knowledge and specialised surgical skills to help women affected by FGM.

Want to get involved?

Please contact our friendly staff at FBW Gynaecology Plus to receive updates on Desert Flower Australia. You can assist us with your skills and donations.

Please also donate to Ashford Hospital Research Foundation Desert Flower Australia / FBW Gynaecology Research.