‘The scar that left its mark’: WSLHD’s Dipti Zachariah shares powerful poem about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

WSLHD’s Multicultural Health Services Team Leader, Dipti Zachariah, has penned the below poem ‘The scar that left its mark‘ about Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) following the recent The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

Dipti has given her permission for us to publish the poem here.

The WSLHD Multicultural Health Services team also brings to life the NSW Education Program on FGM/C in western Sydney, helping the culturally and linguistically diverse communities affected by the practice access healthcare services and information. The NSW Education Program focuses on two key areas:

  • Clinical Response: To enhance the capacity of the NSW Health system to effectively and sensitively respond to the health and cultural needs of women and girls affected by the practice of FGM/C and to ensure they receive treatment and care that is high quality, culturally safe and minimises adverse health effects and psychological harm.
  • KFA 2: Community Education: To enhance the capacity of communities affected by or at risk of FGM/C practice to understand the negative impact and consequences of FGM/C in order to promote approaches that prevent and eliminate FGM/C. The Program will also work with communities affected by or at risk of the FGM/C to promote better health and address their specific health needs through bilingual peer led community education approaches that foster empowerment and strengthen health literacy, so they can confidently prevent, manage and improve their health.

Lynda Smith (Clinical Midwifery Consultant), Dipti Zachariah (Statewide and Specialist Programs Team Leader), Dr. Ngatho Mugo (Community Education Officer) are a crucial part of this program, and their work drives WSLHD’s engagement with these communities and ability to provide culturally appropriate and accessible resources.

For more information /access to community education and clinical education please contact the NSW Education Program on FGM/C team on WSLHD-MulticulturalHealth@health.nsw.gov.au.