UNICEF laments involvement of medical practitioners in promoting FGM practices in Ebonyi

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Wednesday, decried involvements of medical practitioners in increasing cases of Female Genital Mutilations (FGM) in Ebonyi state.

UNICEF revealed this during a one-day training workshop program organized for law enforcement officers and judiciaries  on  the Violence Against Persons (prohibition) Law, No.002 of 2018, by Ebonyi state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (MWASD) with the support from UNICEF, held at Homeland Extention Hotels, Ohaukwu LGA.

Addressing participants in the program, Director Child protection, in the Ministry, Mr Godwin Igwe, noted that medical practitioners formed the rapid increase witnessed in FGM.

He however, said there is need for a grass root sensitization in other to disabuse the mind of uninformed parents that these doctors are misleading.

He said, “The trained and quack medical practitioners are enhancing female genital mutilations in the state. They deceive  uninformed parents that they have anaesthetic, they shouldn’t mind the claims that FGM is bad, that what is bad about it is the pain, that they have injections they will give  to cut the clitoris, that their would be no harm.

“So we are saying that there is a need to wage the relentless war, it is not to the urban based, we need to go to the hinterland to inform the people , to disabuse their minds. It is not all about gathering in the hotels, we can go to the market square, not to the traditional rulers alone, some people owe no allegiance to the traditional rulers, because some of them are not the choice of the people. That is why it is important to meet the people in their groups, churches, August meetings which is fast approaching to tell them that it is not only because of pain that we say they should abandon FGM, but other negative effect that follows.

“There is a need to get not only the medical doctors in the hospital, not only the licensed ones, the patent medical pratitioner, that are spread in all the nucks and cranes of the rural areas. They need to be reached at, or train them let them understand that what they are doing is not good, because they may not understand all these consequences we are talking of.

“When we talk of medical workers, or practitioners, it is not only the licensed ones, there are some people who are in the village, who did not go to secondary school that are doing operations, claiming that what one man can do another man can do it.

“Cases of FGM are usually done in the secret,  some case of doctor’s that practice it has been taken to the ministry of health, and punishment has been given to them, some of their licenses withdrawn from them.

Mr Igwe also noted that the state is no longer rated high in cases of FGM, according to a statistics he showed as rewarded of 10years benefits of sensitization carried out in the state with the help of development partners

Gender Officer with the state Ministry of Justice Barristers Ijeoma Mike-Ajanwachukw, charge law enforcement officers to shun political interests and do their work so as to be able achieve a better society.

However, participants in the program  Sargent Emeka Ngele of the Nigerian police and Bassey Okoi of the Nigerian security and Civil Defense Corps, noted that interference and influence formed major hindrances in their job.

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