From Olivia Sterns @ CNN Health:
Every day thousands of girls endure forced circumcision. It's a controversial cultural tradition common in parts of Africa, South America, Middle East and Asia and that regularly results in infection and even death.
The health dangers involved in this procedure, also known as female genital mutilation (FGM), are increasingly well-known and have lead to international efforts to ban the practice.
But a new treatment pioneered by a French doctor, Pierre Foldes, offers hope for victims of this practice.
Dr. Foldes began working with victims of female circumcision almost 30 years ago while volunteering in Burkina Faso.
An estimated 130 million women have undergone female circumcision. The procedure is typically performed in unsanitary conditions and often results in infections and fistula, an open wound that can develop in victims of FGM between the vagina and the anus after a failed childbirth.
Increasingly international organizations and governments are working to ban FGM, despite protests from religious and cultural groups hoping to defend the practice.