Berlin launches Europe's first FGM clinic

Europe's first clinic dedicated solely to treating women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) opened in Zehlendorf, Berlin last week.

According to the Local, the Desert Flower Centre expects to admit between 50 and 100 patients per year and will offer psychological care as well as surgical intervention to mitigate the consequences of the practice.

Roland Scherer, head surgeon, told the publication that the first few patients are already being seen and three further admissions are thought to be imminent. Treatment will be paid for by either the woman's health insurance or, in cases where this is not available, by the Desert Flower Foundation.

Katharina Kunze, a spokesperson for human rights group Terre des Femmes, welcomed news that the facility had opened - but noted that giving women immediate access to FGM surgery is less important than ensuring doctors "learn more about the subject" in general.

The World Health Organization estimates that around 50,000 women in Germany have undergone FGM.