Comfort Iyabo Amah Momoh,
(born c. 1962) is a British midwife
who specializes in the treatment of female genital mutilation (FGM).
Born in Nigeria, Momoh is a member of the British
clinical group, established in 2007 to train health professionals in
how to deal with the practice. Until 2017 she served as a
public-health specialist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
in London. She is the editor of Female Genital Mutilation (2005).
1 Early life and education
4 2017 complaint
5 Selected works
7 Further reading
Early life and education
Momoh was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to a Nigerian-Ghanaian
family. Her maternal grandmother died days before Momoh's
birth, and she was mostly raised by her paternal grandmother.
In 1981 she moved to the UK to train as a nurse at North Middlesex
Hospital. It was at Middlesex that she first studied FGM, which is not
practised by her tribe in Nigeria. In 2002 she obtained a BSc in
women's healthcare from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and
Midwifery, King's College London. She received a Florence
Nightingale Foundation scholarship in 2007 to conduct research into
FGM in Africa, and in 2015 the foundation awarded her a travel
scholarship to visit the United States to study their approach to
Female genital mutilation
Female genital mutilation in the UK
In 1997 Momoh set up the African Well Women's Clinic at St Thomas's
Hospital, dedicated to caring for women affected by FGM. As of
2013 the clinic was seeing around 300 women a year and performing two
defibulation operations a week, which involves opening a vagina sewn
shut as a result of
FGM Type III.
Momoh worked as a temporary adviser to the World Health Organization
in 1999 and represented the UK at the United Nations Commission on the
Status of Women in 2001. From around 2007 she worked as a
public-health specialist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust,
before retiring in 2017. Momoh also runs Global Comfort Ltd., a
private consultancy. She was included in 2014 in the London
Evening Standard's list of 1000 most influential people in
In the 2008 New Year Honours, Momoh was appointed a Member of the
Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to women's
healthcare. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Middlesex
University in 2008. In 2011 she won a Gathering of Africa's Best
(GAB) award. She was chosen as 2015 Alumna of the Year by King's
College London, and in 2016 she was awarded a fellowship by the
Royal College of Midwives.
Nursing and Midwifery Council confirmed in September 2017 that it
had received a complaint about Momoh. That month, BBC Newsnight
suggested that the weight given by the authorities in the UK to the
physical examination of girls for
FGM was causing trauma to children
who had not in fact experienced it. Families were fearful of being
accused and split up. The programme raised questions about the
examination of at least five children by Momoh. Since 2012 the Royal
College of Paediatrics and Child Health has required that child-abuse
victims be examined by specialist doctors. Newsnight reported that
Momoh had been referring to herself as "Dr", although her doctorate is
an honorary one, not a medical degree, and that during a 2014 court
case, the judge, James Munby, had criticized her evidence as
Momoh responded that she had done nothing wrong and had nothing to
hide. Nimco Ali, an anti-
FGM activist, told The Times: "Comfort has
led work to end
FGM for over 30 years and has enriched the lives of
countless women and girls. Attempts at character assassination of such
a great woman [are] shameful."
(2004). Comfort Momoh. "Female genital mutilation", Curr Opin Obstet
Gynecol. 2004 Dec;16(6):477-80. PMID 15534443
Comfort Momoh (ed.) Female Genital Mutilation, Oxford:
Radcliffe Publishing, 2005.
(2010). Comfort Momoh. "Female genital mutilation: a global and local
concern", Pract Midwife. 2010 Apr;13(4):12-4. PMID 20476610
(2010). Comfort Momoh. "A day in the life of ... a female genital
mutilation/public health specialist", Midwives. 2010 Aug:50.
(2010). Susan Bewley, Sarah Creighton, and Comfort Momoh. "Female
genital mutilation", BMJ. 2010 Jun 2;340:c2728. doi:10.1136/bmj.c2728.
(2014). Katherine A. Zakhour and Comfort Momoh. "Female genital
mutilation", in Maureen Dalton (ed.). Forensic Gynaecology. Cambridge
University Press, 142–147.
(2016). Maria Luisa Amasanti, Mendinaro Imcha, and Comfort Momoh.
"Compassionate and Proactive Interventions by Health Workers in the
United Kingdom: A Better Approach to Prevent and Respond to Female
Genital Mutilation?", PLOS Medicine, 13(3), 22 March, e1001982.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001982 PMC 4803291
(2016). Comfort Momoh, Olamide Olufade, and Patrice Redman-Pinard.
"What nurses need to know about female genital mutilation", British
Journal of Nursing, 2016 May 12-25;25(9):S30-4.
doi:10.12968/bjon.2016.25.9.S30 PMID 27172505
^ a b Lucy Bannerman, "
Comfort Momoh hits back at
attack on her qualifications", The Times, 6 September 2017.
^ a b c d e f Lucy Bannerman, "Mutilated, scarred by
FGM — Dr
Comfort will heal the wounds", The Times, 2 April 2014 (courtesy
^ a b c "Comfort Momoh: a carer and campaigner", King's College
London, December 2014.
^ "Our Team",
FGM National Clinical Group.
^ a b c "Questions raised about prominent
FGM campaigner", BBC News, 5
^ a b "‘Girls born here can say no to being cut — so families are
doing it to them as babies’", London Evening Standard, 6 March 2013.
^ Miriam Dalli, "Maltese doctors facing up to reality of female
circumcision in pregnant refugees", Malta Today, 28 July 2010.
^ a b "Influencing Practice Locally, Nationally and Internationally",
Florence Nightingale Foundation
Florence Nightingale Foundation Alumni Association Magazine, 2,
Autumn/Winter 2015, p. 6.
^ a b Dan Howard "On The Frontline: Tackling
FGM in a Western
Country", WomenPolice, International Association of Women Police, May
2012 – July 2013.
^ a b "
Comfort Momoh lecture series". The Royal Women's Hospital,
Australia. Archived from the original on 10 March 2011.
^ "Top women named as health inspirations", Guy's and St Thomas' NHS
Foundation Trust, 10 July 2014.
^ Jess Frampton (18 June 2013). "From taboo to talking point – an
eye-opening insight into Female Genital Mutilation". UN Women.
Archived from the original on 27 October 2014.
Female genital mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM) clinic at Guy's and St Thomas'".
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. March 2015. Archived from
the original on 8 September 2017.
^ "About us", Global Comfort.
^ "London's stars are a global force for good", London Evening
Standard. Archived 21 October 2014.
FGM midwife in London's Top 1000", Guy's and St Thomas' NHS
Foundation Trust, 17 October 2014.
^ Suzi Dixon, "Health and beauty: New Year Honours", The Daily
Telegraph, 31 December 2007.
^ "GAB-Awards-winning midwife honoured for
FGM work", Trumpet Media
Group, 27 July 2016.
^ "Dr Comfort Momoh, King’s Alumna of the Year 2015", King's College
London, December 2015.
^ "London midwife receives national midwifery honour for
Royal College of Midwives, 27 July 2016.
^ "'I knew my children hadn't had FGM'", BBC Newsnight, 5 September
"One woman’s fight against female circumcision", Woman's Hour, BBC
Radio 4, 26 October 2006, interview.
Rix, Juliet (9 November 2005). "Comfort Momoh". The Guardian.
Female genital mutilation
Pelvic inflammatory disease
By country and religion
Prevalence by country
Religious views on FGM
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Edna Adan Ismail
Nawal El Saadawi
Marion Scott Stevenson
Tahirih Justice Center
Zero Tolerance Day
My Body My Rules (2015)
Desert Flower (1998, book)
Desert Flower (2009, film)
Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992)
Woman at Point Zero
Woman at Point Zero (1975)
Matter of Kasinga
Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985
Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003
2005 (Scotland) Act
Female genital mutilation
Activists against female genita