“Children genital mutilation remains a problem in Nigeria”, says federal health director.
The Director of Family Health at Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Salma Anas, said at a news briefing in Abuja, “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,adulescent and the elderly by the Minister of Health two years ago.”
The director added: ”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. 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 harzard 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.”
The director noted that “Achievements were made and part of the major achievements we made were targated 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.”
The Nigerian official stated 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.”