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Health implication of female genital circumcision

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PHOTO: Public Radio International

It was estimated that across the globe more than 125 million girls and women have undergone female circumcision, from this number Nigeria accounts for about 33 million circumcised females according to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report. And each year over three million girls and women are at risk of female circumcision.

Health experts cautioned that Female Genial Circumcision is the leading cause of heavy bleeding especially during childbirth, sepsis, vesicovaginal fistula (VVF), infertility, depression, social problems and other health related issues as well as Human Immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDs).

Towards this, Leadership Initiative for Youths Empowerment (LIFE), has initiated a sensitization programmes to promote a society where young people live healthy and responsibly lives, free from the ravages of diseases and discrimination, with social equity for all.

This programme features community leaders, representatives of community health facilities, head of faith based organizations, community groups and association and representatives of elected government officials to end female genital circumcision in Isolo and Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area (LCDAs), Lagos State.

Dr. Temitope Ajayi, a public health doctor at Isolo Primary Healthcare said that female genital circumcision causes prolonged labour during childbirth. She added circumcised woman can only put to bed through assisted childbirth which cause injuries for the baby and the mother.

“Because of hole created in the vagina during circumcision the woman will develop vesicovaginal fistula during child birth which is not advisable because it will cause a lot of pains for the woman. It can cause psychiatric problem and make some women to commit suicide because the woman is not happy always.

“Female genital circumcision causes depression, economic and social problems, which will affect Nigeria’s cultural value and development of the country. It is harmful and once a woman is circumcised physically she is not healthy.

Programme Coordinator LIFE Joseph Afam said Female Genital Circumcision is also known as Female Mutilation or Female Genital Cutting and it is the act of piercing, cutting, removing or sewing closed all or part of a girl’s or woman’s genitals for no medical reasons.

Afam stated that LIFE runs the educative programme in partnership with The Girl Generation a global collective of partners and members who believe that female genital circumcision must end in this generation.

Afam said: “Programme aimed at developing modalities for sustaining an African led movement of local leaders who are committed to changing nagative norms and ensuring that girls enjoy protection from harm in two local government Areas of Lagos State”.



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