Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, also referred to as female genital cutting, is a traditional practice carried out on young girls usually before age fifteen.
Over the years, many groups have called on the authorities to take effective measures to stop the practice because of the adverse health and emotional effects it has on women.
In this special report, Correspondent Yesirat Abiola focuses on the adverse health consequences of Female Genital Cutting and what some stakeholders are doing to curb the trend.
Female Genital Mutilation, is a procedure that involves the cutting of female genitals as a result of the notion that women who do not go through it will remain promiscuous.
While some medical experts describe Female Genital Cutting as a harmful traditional practice, others are of the opinion that, it is one of the most dehumanizing practices that expose women to infections, cause complications during child birth and contributes significantly to maternal mortality in the country.
Globally, it is believed that between one hundred and one hundred and forty million girls and women who are alive today have undergone one form of FGM or the other.
The World Health Organization, WHO, estimates that more than one hundred and twenty-five million girls and women have experienced Female Genital Cutting in the twenty nine countries in Africa and Middle East where the practice is acute.
Experts are of the opinion that, if current trends continue, fifteen million more girls between the ages of fifteen and nineteen would be subjected to it by 2030.
To forestall this, every year issues concerning FGM are brought to the front burner so that the society should take action towards curbing it.
An Obstetrics, Gynecology expert, Dr. Eme Orji, enumerated the negative effects of FGM to include uncontrolled bleeding, urine retention, emotional trauma and the possibility of transmitting HIV.
” It is harmful because excess loss of blood will occur, the possibility of infection is very high, contracting of HIV is very possible. Apart from that, it has no benefit, the emotional damage on the affected persons is so pathetic”
“To curb Female Genital Mutilation, the midwive must be involved, the practice causes a lot of harm later in the future.
“One of the effects is that when the child grows, she may not be easily sexually arouse and such child may not be able to satisfy her husband”
Speaking on the need for more enlightment program, an advocate of Female Genital Mutilation, Mrs. Oyefunso Orenuga, noted that although more than eleven states had passed the law against FGM, government at all levels should do more to enlighten parents, especially rural dwellers, on the need to stop the practice.
“Midwives, religious leaders and other key stakeholders should be educated” Parents also should be enlightened” Parents need to stand against it and report any one trying to force them to release their children for Female Genital Mutilation.
The founder Child Health Advocacy Initiative, Mrs. Lola Alonge emphasized the need for community engagement, the involvement of traditional rulers, midwives and religious leaders as a way to put a stop to Female Genital Cutting in Nigeria.
“Women should stand against this in anywhere and never allow the pressure of their mother in-law to push them to do it no matter what. No gain but pain. Stop giving the new born baby pains”
“Midwives, religious leaders and other key stakeholders should be educated”Respondents believed that the practice of Female Genital Cutting could be eradicated if all stakeholders continuously join the campaign against FGM until it is eradicated.