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DAR ES SALAAM, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania has created a national strategy aimed at ending female genital mutilation (FGM) which was still prevalent in the country despite years of campaigning, a senior official said on Saturday.

Sebastian Kitiku, the Director of Children Affairs in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, said the strategy will be launched on March 15, 2021.

He said the four-year national strategy will entail running campaigns on the health consequences of FGM for girls and women, recruitment of change agents from within the communities and the enforcement of legal mechanisms.

"National statistics show that prevalence of FGM in Tanzania stands at 10 percent, an indication that there is an uphill task to eliminate the malpractice," Kitiku told a news conference in the capital Dodoma to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

The official said the 2015/2016 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey showed that one out of 10 women in Tanzania underwent FGM, citing Manyara, Dodoma, Arusha, Mara and Singida as regions with leading incidences of FGM.

In 1998, the government of Tanzania criminalized female genital mutilation. - Xinhua

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