Over 2m Nigerian Girls At Risk Of Genital Mutilation, Says FG - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Over 2m Nigerian Girls At Risk Of Genital Mutilation, Says FG

THE federal government has disclosed that over 2 million girls were at risk of genital mutilation in the country, tasking Nigerians to rose against the practice it described as criminal.

This came as the government said it saved over 3,700 girls from undergoing the practice in five states of Ebonyi, Imo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun through vigorous awareness campaign it launched in partnership with the United Nations in the affected states.

The Director of Family Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Salma Anas, who said these at a news briefing in Abuja, noted the the 2 million Nigerian girls were besides over 200 million women and girls affected and living with the harmful practices globally.

Anas who said the Female Genital Mutilation, FGM elimination project was being scaled up to the northern part of the country,said Jigawa and Kaduna states have so far been identified to this effect, saying the project would be extended to others.

Regretting that female genital mutilation was still a problem in the country, she said in an effort to stop the trend,over 730,000 men, religious and traditional leaders have been trained on the negative impact of FGM.

She said,”With respect to the health of the family which is reproductive maternal, new born and child health including the health of the elderly,we have made a very important progress in the aspect of elimination of children genital mutilation.

“Children genital mutilation still remains a problem in Nigeria. Globally,there are over 200 million people that are affected in living with it today,that is women and girls. Out of this,we still have over two million that are at risk of female genital mutilation in Nigeria. So we continue to partner since the launch of partnership on women, girls, adolescents, and the elderly by the Minister of Health two years ago.

"So we continue to leverage partnership across the country. Part of the partnership we had recently is the elimination of female genital mutilation with the United Nations. This was implemented in five states that have the highest rate of female genital mutilation in Nigeria.

“These states are Ebonyi, Imo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun. It was aimed at awareness creation on the hazard of female genital mutilation in Nigeria and also ways to reduce the practices and also inclusion of female genital mutilation indicators into the National Health Management Information System.

“Achievements were made and part of the major achievements we made were targeted at young girls. Over 3,700 girls were saved from female genital mutilation as a result of the awareness campaign that took place in five of these states.

“And we have also been able to trained over 730,000 men and religious leaders including traditional leaders on the negative impact of female genital mutilation.”

Noting that,”The boys are also not left behind”, she said “over 800 boys were also sensitized and trained so that they can work together as partners to protect their sisters from such criminal practices that happen in our respective communities.”

“The project will also scale up to other parts of Nigeria especially the northern parts. Jigawa and Kaduna states have been identified to scale up the project where the awareness will continue to be created until we are able to totally eliminate female genital mutilation,”she added.

According to her, ”We call on all Nigerians to be aware that this is silently happening in communities and we all have the responsibility to protect our women, especially the girls that are victims because it has its negative complications on the health of girls, not only physical but also psychological trauma.”

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