UNICEF gives Imo communities two months to stop female genital mutilation

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United Nations International Children ’s Emergency Fund has given till January , 2018, twenty eight autonomous communities in the Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State to stop the practice of female genital mutilation.
UNICEF which is partnering with the state chapter of the National Orientation Agency in the campaign , said that while Imo, Oyo , Ekiti, Ebonyi and Osun states are ranked as the five states with the highest incidences of the harmful practice, Ngor Okpala ,Ikduru , Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta LGAs are the worst hit in Imo State.
Addressing the presidents general and women leaders in Ngor Okpala LGA during a one-day consensus building meeting to end the ugly practice, the UNICEF officer in the state , Chigozie Ojiaku, said the aim was to ensure that by January , 2018 , no family in the area is practising the trend which he said was harmful to the growth of the girl child.
He said that apart from what he called community mapping, UNICEF had engaged in geographical positional system, community dialogue to ensure that no girl child is mutilated anymore.
Ojiaku informed that in order to ensure adequate compliance, UNICEF had adopted the formation of a child protection committee in every community who would give it feedback on regular intervals .
The Director , NOA in Imo State, Vitus Ekeocha, said , Osun , Ekiti, Ebonyi, Imo and Oyo states , from research, have the highest incidences of female genital mutilation and cutting abandonment in Nigeria .
“Here in Imo State, Ngor Okpala , Ohaji/Egbema, Ikeduru and Oguta are the highest in the incidences of female genital mutilation. UNICEF and NOA are working to ensure that by January , 2018, every community in the local government does not engage in the harmful practice anymore, ” Ekeocha said.
In her lecture, the officer in charge of Child’ s Rights Act at the Ministry of Women Affairs , Imo State, Blessing Azubuike, said people still engage in the practice out of ignorance .
She said , “ The old generation women who were victims of female genital mutilation in large numbers were sexually helpless. No urge, no feeling. When there is no lubrication during sex , there will be friction and it is a problem for women in carrying out their conjugal responsibility. ”
Speaking on the health implication of the practice, she said that those who engage in the cutting and mutilation were not formally trained as the practice is not taught in schools.
Azubuike said that as a result of the health implications of the practice, some children die out of bleeding , shock , pains, infections.

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