Parents and guardians have been advised to desist from subjecting their female children to circumcised as this could lead to death.
This is as Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
Giving the advice in a phone chat with DAILY POST on Tuesday in Osogbo, a Family Physician and anti-FGM advocate, Folashade Akinola warned that engaging in the practice is tantamount to mutilating their children and causing them trauma.
Akinola, while emphasising that the end repercussions of FGM is death, added that ignorance and negative culture have continued to fuel FGM in the country.
She said, “FGM is not good. It is not healthy for the girl child. Unknowingly to those still practising it, it usually results in death.”
She disclosed that the practice carries some harmful side effects which may lead lifelong damages for the girls, low self esteem and in some instances death.
“Lack or loss of sexual desire on the part of the woman is one of these. Without knowing the male partner may be blaming the woman for not being responsive during sexual intercourse without knowing the reason behind the coldness or lack of desire on the part of the woman.
“Prolonged obstructional labour may be a side effect of FGM. This is when the woman finds it hard to give birth during labour. This occurred because the clitoris and some part of the vaginal opening had been cut off during the female circumcision and when it healed, it left only a small opening which has become impossible for the coming baby to pass through.
“Death may occur as a result of excessive bleeding.”
Akinola also revealed that as a result of intensive advocacy, the prevalence of FGM in Osun State which used to be the highest in the Southwest has dropped from 77.6 percent to 45.9 percent.
“This drop in prevalence was achieved through massive sensitisation programmes, advocacy visits to traditional rulers and religious leaders.
“These visits in no small measure were able to reduce the level of ignorance among the population which were mostly in the rural areas.
“We were even shocked to discover that some of our elites in the state still practised circumcision for the female children.
“What they do is they take their babies to these people in the rural areas who carry out these acts on their daughters and bring them to the town to recover.”
Akinola while commending the state government and stakeholders for their efforts in combating FGM added that the state Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Health have been in the forefront in the campaign against the eradication of the FGM malaise.
The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is held annually on February 6 and the theme of the year 2024 edition is: Her Voice. Her Future.