By Chukwudi Nwauba  :

Awka, Feb. 8, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala has emphasised the State Government’s commitment for total elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), in the state.

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is a United Nations (UN) campaign held on Feb. 6 to stop genital mutilation to girls and women.

Dr Okpala gave the assurance while addressing newsmen in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat, Awka.

He noted that through sensitisation and awareness campaigns in different parts of the state, the state recorded low incidences of the practice and assured an increase in enlightenment programmes so as to eradicate the menace in the state.

“Through Public Health and Disease Control in the Ministry, we have organised sensitisation and awareness campaigns, and the incidences are actually going down in the state.

“We will keep on improving on the awareness, so it doesn’t become a problem to us.

“As a ministry, we stand against female circumcision, because in doing this, the female anatomy is messed up, leading to problems in the future as the child gets older,’’ he said.

Describing female genital mutilation as the removal of the external female genitalia, Dr Okpala said that in a bid to circumcise the females, people destroy the female anatomy.

“About 120 to 140 million women have been subject to FGM and three million girls are at risk each year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“FGM relates to all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

“This practice is an abuse of human rights and causes serious health complications, including fatal bleeding,’’ he added.

According to him, UN first officially commemorated the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on Feb. 6, 2003. It continues to fight against FGM through a range of activities in addition to the observance.

The commissioner explained that most times the practice often led to health complications including difficulty in child bearing, severe pains, excessive bleeding and even death; he cautioned all to abstain from such acts. (MOI)

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