The Desert Flower Foundation is currently active in 12 European and African countries. One of our offices is based in Stockholm (Solna), in Sweden. Desert Flower Foundation Scandinavia is in close co-operation with Karolinska University Hospital renowned and responsible for giving the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Hannes Sigurjónsson, a plastic surgeon at the Karolinska University Hospital is one of the founders of DFF Scandinavia.
Hannes Sigurjónsson's Team working at Karolinska University Hospital has already successfully operated the first victims of FGM.
We asked him about the work of Desert Flower Foundation Scandinavia.
You can read the short interview here:
1. How many women have you successfully operated on?
Six women have been operated with clitoral reconstruction done alongside other procedures like defibulation, removal of scar tissue and correction of the urethral opening that is sometimes injured during FGM.
2. Are most of these women from Somalia or from other parts of Africa?
The majority of patients are from the Horn of Africa, mostly Somalia and Eritrea, but also from countries in West Africa.
3. You are the co-founder of the Desert Flower Foundation Scandinavia. When are you planning to start the work of the Foundation?
Preparation and planning of the efforts of DFF Scandinavia have been taking place the last six months. Included in our team are professionals with a wide background; reconstructive plastic surgeons, gynaecologists, sexologists, psychotherapists, a lawyer, an entrepreneur and a specialist in international relations and last but not least survivors of FGM. The launching of the Desert Flower Foundation Scandinavia is planned in the autumn 2015.
4. How do the women find out about the service, e.g. media, referral from health service or community?
After word got out that we had done the first reconstruction in Scandinavia at Karolinska University Hospital we had a huge national and international media attention. After that we have been contacted directly by the women but also from well informed health professionals like gynaecologists and family doctors. The main agenda of Desert Flower Foundation Scandinavia will be to reach out to sufferers of FGM directly as well as the public and to work prophylactically for girls at risk of being mutilated. A second main emphasis of the foundation is to raise awareness and knowledge of health professionals in Sweden and internationally with seminars and hands-on training.
You can donate here for the reconstructive operation of FGM victims: