Dr. Olasunbo Odebode, The Nigeria Representative of The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund, who is also in-charge of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), has disclosed shockingly in Ibadan that six out of 10 women between age 15 and 49 years are victims of genital mutilation in Oyo State.
Dr. Odebode, a Child Protection Specialist, while speaking at a public declaration of FGM abandonment by 21 communities in Oyo West Local Government, she said mutilation prevalence rate for women between 15 and 49 years in the state is 55.5 per cent, the fifth highest in Nigeria.
She said: “FGM is not only harmful but also against nature as it destroys the wholesome and beautiful way women and girls are naturally created. It poses increased risk of infection or prolonged labour, bleeding, still-birth and maternal death during childbirth as well as leaves lasting physical, emotional scars and an irreparable damage.” Dr. Odebode further urged stakeholders to collaborate in the campaign to end its menace in their respective communities.
Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA) in the state, said the agency had carried out series of programmes to sensitise the public on the effects of female genital mutilation. Dosunmu commended traditional and community leaders in the area for dropping the age-long practice.
Also, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola, , promised to support UNICEF and NOA’s efforts in eliminating the practice in the state. The Yoruba monarch, represented by the Basorun of Oyo Kingdom, Chief Yusuf Akinade, charged community heads to sensitise people in their domain on the negative effects of the practice.