Hacey Health Partner Access Bank on End Female Genital Mutilation Campaign

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Worried about the dangers associated with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Hacey Health Initiative (HHI), with support from Access Bank is implementing a project to end the age long culture in Nigeria.

Speaking at a One-day Capacity Building event for Adolescent School Girls in Oyo State to mark the UN Humanitarian Day, to sensitise them about female genital mutilation which is a violation of the girl-child rights, HHI, Coordinator in Oyo State, Owolabi Abayomi, said the act is not just dangerous but has been criminalized by laws in Nigeria.

He noted that there must be a frantic effort for individuals to report any such practice to the nearest police station, Amotekun and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for prosecution.

FGM is a practice of cutting out the external female genital organ to either remove totally or partially which causes an injury to this part for none medical purposes.

Owolabi, said Nigeria is one of the four countries that account for 66% of the global burden of FGM, which made it imperative for the NGO to build capacity of victims of the practice otherwise called survivors.

According to him, FGM, is a tradition that have been in practice for over 2000 years traumatizing and putting women in pains, taking away their divinity and violating their human rights.

On the dangers of allowing it to continue, he said “Several health attendance accompany FGM; such as severe pains, shock and bleeding. Infections (HIV, tetanus, urinary tract infection and reproductive tract infection).

“It affect their sex life, makes urinating and menstruating difficult. Causes excessive scar’s, result in psychological problem, complications in pregnancy and childbirth, as well as obstetrics fistula and death.”

Some participants raises questions as to whether girls not mutilated end up becoming promiscuous, whether children whose head touches the mother’s clitoris will not survive, or if there is corrective treatment for survivors?

Owolabi, in his response, explained that “FGM is a harmful traditional practice in the first instance, its purpose is simply to devalue women. Cutting got nothing to do with waywardness by good home training.

“It is just myth to scare and subject women to multilation. The Ijebu people of Ogun state don’t multilate and their children are not dieing at birth. There’s constructive surgery and counseling, but what has been removed can not be restored.”

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