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‘FGM responsible for increased girl-child mortality in Imo’

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Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been identified as a contributing factor to the increased rate of girl-child and women mortality in Imo State. 

Therefore, stakeholders in Urualla and Ihitte-Uboma Councils of the state have been urged to join hands in the fight aimed at stopping FGM and cultural practices that endanger life and violate people’s right.

Speakers at the one-day sensitisation workshop on dangers of FGM organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) with support from United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) insisted that practices, such as female circumcision, early child marriage, and Osu cast system, among others, are repugnant to natural justice and should be abolished.

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The state NOA Director, Vitus Ekeocha, listed FGM dangers to include women being prone to infections, pains during sexual intercourse, excessive bleeding, difficulty during menstruations, and difficulty during childbirth, among others. 

He cited a community in Njaba Local Council, where a young girl, who was circumcised, bled to death before they could get her to the hospital, while another child who after the encounter, has been using pampers as a result of complications.

Ekeocha also corrected the impression that female circumcision helps the girl-child not to be promiscuous, saying that a survey conducted on sex hawkers revealed that even though most of them were circumcised, they still adopted such lifestyle.

Also, the UNICEF Desk Officer under Imo NOA, Chigozie Ojiaku disclosed that out of nine council areas where the FGM practice is prevalent in the state, five of the local councils-Ngor Okpala, Ikeduru, Oguta, Ehime Mbano and Owerri West, have publicly declared to abolish the practice. 

He urged the people to desist from the practice henceforth, as defaulters would be sentenced to 14-year imprisonment or made to pay a fine of N250,000 or both, according to the state law.

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