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#endcuttinggirls : FMOH warns against "medicalisation" of female genital mutilation

Read this ahead of today's conference


Minister of state for health Osagie Ehanire has raised concern about the “medicalisation” of female genital mutilation (FGM) that’s affected the lives and health of more than 20 million Nigerian women.
Ehanire said local residents are commonly known to cut genitalia of young women without anaesthesia or skill and inflicting pain and trauma but the concern is that some health workers have taken to a “medicalised” FGM, in which they offer anaesthesia, disinfectants and sterile cutting instruments to reduce pain and infection.
“The World Health Organisation has warned against any form of FGM, and against it being done by health professionals in any sense,” the minister said on Tuesday at the launch of the End FGM, a national movement to abandon the practice by 2030.
Evidence indicates trained healthworkers are helping families cut their daughters’ genitalia. Two of several young women who have joined the End FGM campaign after surviving the practice said “a nurse” made the cut.
Dr Christopher Ugboko, head of gender, adolescence and elderly at the federal health ministry, speaking at a press briefing , said, "Some doctors say, 'OK we are going to provide hygienic conditions for doing it.' We are asking SOGON [the Society for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Nigeria] to know that the practice is inhuman. It should not be done, whether hygienic or not.”
Nkiru Igbelina-Igbokwe, gender specialist with the United Nations Population Fund, called medicalised FGM "another height" of the practice, insisting doctors and nurses have no business cutting girls regardless of hygiene conditions.
"It is a gross violation of a woman's right to health, bodily integrity, freedom from torture," said Igbelina-Igbokwe.
Ongoing campaign also seeks to make FGM unprofitable in communities where individuals consider it a source of income.
The action to end FGM follows a survey of six states where the practice is most prevalent, including Imo, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ebonyi and Lagos, where on average six out of every 10 women aged 15 to 49 undergo female genital mutilation


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