Indonesian health authorities are set to ban doctors and paramedics performing female circumcisions.

The director general of community health, Azrul Azwar, said the decision followed a seminar involving medical experts and religious leaders.

"We have been recommended and will issue a decree of the minister of health that will forbid doctors and all medical facilities from performing female circumcisions," he said.

Azwar said several religious leaders told the seminar that while male circumcision was an obligation under Islam, the female equivalent was not.

He said that female circumcision was still carried out extensively in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, but the meeting concluded that there were no health benefits associated with the practice.

"All government health facilities will also be instructed to spread information about the decision as well as the redundancy of female circumcision," he said.

He did not say when the decree would be issued.