A non-governmental organisation, Hacey Health Initiative has called on traditional circumcisers in the country to stop Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), saying the practice is dangerous to the health of women and girls now and in the future.
This was, as the health firm, also admonished the Federal Government to ensure implementation of laws against FGM, across Nigeria to bring an end to the practice in the country.
The admonition came on the heels of a programme initiated by Hacey Health Initiative in partnership with Access Bank to commemorate Universal Health Coverage Day, held at the Oke-Adu Primary Health Centre, Ibadan.
While addressing participants at the programme, state coordinator, Hacey Health Initiative, Mr. Owolabi Abayomi, explained FGM is unhealthy and violates the right of women.
According to him, FGM is a procedure involving partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organ for non-medical reasons, which he described as an act globally recognised to be an extreme violation of the rights of women and girls.
Stressing the need to focus on ending the practice, he said it can cause short and long-term complications, including chronic pain, infection, increased risk of HIV transmission, anxiety and depression, birth complication, infertility and in the worst cases, death.
Abayomi explained that FGM violates human rights principles and standards including the principles of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex, the right to the highest attainable standard of health, the rights of the child and the right to physical and mental integrity and even the right to life.
He said: “About one in five girls who have been subjected to FGM had the procedure performed by a trained medical professional and UNICEF data indicates that 28% of FGM cases are carried out by a health professional.”
“FGM can never be “safe” and there is no medical justification for the practice even when the procedure is performed in a sterile environment and by a health care professional, there can be serious health consequences immediately and later in life.”
“We are all working for the same goal to ensure that women and girls live a healthy life. The dangers in the practice outweigh the benefits and financial gains in the business.”
“We have tabled it before and they will do something to empower them. But, government will not do what is not sustainable.”
“However, we must be concerned about the girl child’s future. We should look at the benefits of stopping it for our children,” he stressed.
Abayomi, then, said the essence of the programme was to educate the circumcisers on the need to stop the practice, while calling on the on faith and traditional leaders in Nigeria to act as change agents and challenge the misconception that FGM is a religious and cultural requirement for a girl child.
Leave a Reply.