By Abidun Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti Government has warned perpetrators of Female Genital Mutilation to desist from the harmful act or face the full wrath of law.
The Commissioner for Health and Human Services in Ekiti state Dr. Oyebanji Filani gave the warning at a stakeholders forum of the Dissemination of report of Female Genital Mutilation Prevalence in Ekiti State presented by the HACEY Heaelth Initiative in Ado- Ekiti.
Dr. Filani who emphasized the commitment of the present Administration in the state to ensuring good health and general well being of the citizens adding that the Ministry will ensure that the health policies of the State Government are faithfully implemented in line with the pillars of this administration.
He stated that Female Genital Mutilation was one of the harmful health practices that is endemic in Ekiti state with its attendant implications on the wellbeing of women and girl children .
“I wish to appeal to every good people of Ekiti State to cooperate with the State Government by stamping out
this evil practice from the land. It’s very painful for me to note that some medical and health personnel are alleged to be involved in perpetrating the harmful practice”. The commissioner noted.
The Health helmsman noted that the practice has raised global concern to health practitioners and stakeholders including the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and Human Services Dr.(Mrs) Folakemi Olomojobi disclosed that the state government has enacted law against Female Genital Mutilation which criminalises the practice, saying that
the law was still in force.
Dr Olomojobi noted that the government is determined to stamp out the practice in the state as it has been stressed over time that the practice has no benefit to the victims and the society at large but that was full of adverse consequences.
While contributing, the Permanent Secretary State Primary Health Care Development Agency Pharmacist Bisi Arogundade noted that cultural belief of Africans accounted for high prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in the continent.
Pharmacist Arogundade argued that the belief that the FGM is beneficial is not premised on any logic stressing its adverse effects outweigh any benefit that anyone may ignorantly attribute to it.
In her presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of HACEY Health Initiative Ms. Rhoda Robinson noted that in their research that most of Ekiti residents are not aware of the harmful effects of Female Genital Mutilation.
Mrs Robinson called on government and stakeholders to intensify efforts at combating the menace because of its adverse effects on the future of our women and girl children.
Present at the forum among others were PS Hospitals Management Board Dr. Williams Afolabi, representatives of ministry of education, justice, women affairs, Nigeria Police Force, NSCDC, NOA CSOs and other stakeholders.