Until last month, when a woman needed an emergency Caesarean section on the island of Bubaque, in Guinea-Bissau, she had to take a five-hour boat ride to the capital city. And the boat ran only once a week. Bubaque’s regional hospital – which serves 17 islands in the Bijagos archipelago – did not have any surgical ward at all. It also lacked the ability to provide emergency obstetric and neonatal care. A new surgical ward, supported by UNFPA and the government of Portugal, opened at the regional hospital on 25 July.
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The most senior United Nations officials are urging the world to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, calling it a "violent practice" that scars girls for life, endangering their health, depriving them of their rights, and denying them the chance to reach their full potential.