Why we frown at Medicalisation of Female Genital Mutilation – UNFPA

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In the line with the global practice, the Federal Ministry of Health warns medical personnel against medicalisation of female genital mutilation



The practice of female genital mutilation, FGM, is usually attributable to the handiwork of traditional circumciser, however, emerging scientific evidence shows that a significant proportion of FGM is being performed by healthcare professionals. This has remained a global public health challenge. The burden of the FGM is huge is Nigeria, with one out of every four women being a victim of this harmful practice. Of these proportion of women with the FGM, 13% had their genital mutilated by healthcare professionals.

Based on global best practices, the FGM violates medical ethics when performed by a health worker in a clinical setting or the community. It may also confer a sense of legitimacy to the FGM or give the impression that it is without health consequences, which can undermine efforts towards its abandonment. Medicalisation of the FGM can only be curbed if the authorities responsible for regulating the practices of the various health workers are brought on board the fight against the FGM.

To this end, the Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, organised a national stakeholders/advocacy meeting tagged “Curbing medicalisation of Female Genital Mutilation and sanctioning of erring medical personnel in Nigeria” where all health associations, regulatory bodies and health professionals came together to channel a course on how to prevent the medicalisation of the FGM through investing in awareness creation, curriculum review and sensitising regulatory bodies in implementing sanctions for erring medical personnel.  The UNFPA provided the financial and technical support for the meeting while the meeting was facilitated by Centre for Population and Reproductive Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.

Speaking at the event, Eugene Kongnyuy, the assistant country representative of UNFPA, said that if FGM continues to be practiced at the current levels, 68 million girls will be subjected to FGM by 2030 .He stated that some of the major goals of UNFPA with the hope of a global transformative result is ending female gender-based violence and harmful practices of which one is Female Genital Mutilation, FGM.

He made a call to all present to work towards being an agent of change in their various communities. A declaration against the act was made during the meeting.

– Jan. 9, 2019 @ 14:45 GMT |

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