FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION: One Practice, Multiple Wrongs [READ]

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Female Genital Mutilation. FILE PHOTO
Female Genital Mutilation. FILE PHOTO

Female Genital mutilation (FGM) is one of the practices in the society that needs to be abolished as it has done more harm than good.

Also known as female circumcision or cutting, the practice often leaves its victims with serious injuries that may even get infected if proper care is not taken.

FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts.

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Globally, over 200 million women and girls have suffered FGM, and a further three million girls undergo FGM every year in Africa.

In Africa, most parents engage in the practice in a bid to prevent their young girls from the prying eyes of randy men who wallow the streets in search of unsuspecting victims.

The excruciating pains these young victims are made to pass through during the process are better left for the nightmares.

FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 and it is considered child abuse and many Nigerians are ready to support the legislation that will put an end to this barbaric practice according to a recent survey.

About twenty nine countries in Africa including Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Sudan and so on are actively involved in the practice of FGM.

The sad part of the practice is that most times, the victims end up with serious complications on their sexual and reproductive health.

The effects of FGM depend on a number of factors, including the type performed, the expertise of the practitioner, the hygiene conditions under which it is performed, the amount of resistance and the general health condition of the female undergoing the procedure.

Immediate complications from FGM include severe pain, shock, haemorrhage, tetanus or infection, urine retention, ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent tissue, wound infection, urinary infection, fever, and septicemia. Haemorrhage and infection can be severe enough to cause death.

Long-term consequences include complications during childbirth,  anaemia, the formation of cysts and abscesses, keloid scar formation, damage to the urethra resulting in urinary incontinence, dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse), sexual dysfunction, hypersensitivity of the genital area and increased risk of HIV transmission, as well as psychological effects.

It is about time the practice is nipped in the bud because the ensuing health risks outweigh the original motive behind it.

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