REVEALED: How FMG/C kills eight million nerves in each woman

---Causes infertility, bleeding, untimely death

As a result of the increase in Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FMG/C) and its devastating consequences in Ebonyi State, National Orientation Agency (NOA) in conjunction with United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has taken its campaign against the deadly cultural practice.

Both NOA and UNICEF took the campaign against  FGM to the state hinterlands, warning women to desist from such barbaric act because of its devastating consequences that can lead to infertility and as well bleeding during labour.

According to the team, Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting F(C) kills over 8 million nerves in women's body which makes most of them to have low libido for sex calling on traditional rulers, religious leaders and other opinion leaders to join the fight against the practice.

The Programme Officer of National Orientation Agency in Ebonyi State, Mr. Una Uchenna stated this during an advocacy dialogue with women traditional institution to seek their collaboration for the elimination of FMG/C in Afikpo South and Izzi Local Government Areas respectively.

 Mr.  Una stated that Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting involves partial or total removal of female genitals which causes bleeding to women during child birth, Vesico-Vaginal-Fistula (VVF), lumps, scares in private part, among other medical issues and complications.

He stated that culture, customs and traditions of the people contributed lots to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting practice in Ebonyi State.

He added that the review meeting is meant to know the level which our opinion leaders have gone in circulating information about FGM/Cutting after their public declaration stating that before the declaration, Ebonyi State was ranked second at 74 per cente , from National Demographic Health Survair of 2018 but due to their efforts in carrying out the campaign, it has been reduced.

"Before the declaration, Ebonyi state was ranked 2nd at 74 per cent but presently from National Demographic Health Survair (NDHS) of 2018, Ebonyi was ranked 3rd Nationally with 52.4 per cent for women aged between 14 to 49 years while before the declaration, Children aged between 0 to 14 years, Ebonyi was at 20% but now is 52% 

"The review meeting was just to ascertain from our traditional leaders the extent they have gone after the public declaration in spreading the message against FGM after their public declaration, to know wether they caught anybody  within their community indulging in FGM and if there is any, what happens to the person? This is the essence of the review meeting and also to remind them of their public declaration."

One of the participants, Mrs. Orji Blessing noted that their people have been endulging in different forms of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting as a result of ignorance, saying that they do use share butter and hot water  before now to eliminate female genitals but with the level of information and sensitization campaign, they have been able to stop most of those obnoxious practices.

Others like Mrs. Olachi Sylvester while narrating her Odeals about FGM/C explained that she is a victim of FGM because it was done when she was tender, lamenting that she does not have urge or  enjoy sexual intercourse as a result of this mutilation and her private part is no longer elastic during labour.

"I don't know when my female genital was mutilated because I was small then.  It is usually done  eight days after birth. How it affected me as a mother was that I don't enjoy or have pleasure during sex intercourse.

"Another way it affected me was that my private part was no longer elastic during childbirth because during my first delivery, I was operated upon. FGM is very bad because they do use one sharp object on many persons, therefore, spreading diseases.

She equally explained that some women who endulge in this normally use other things like Vacilin, hot water, dusting powder  for this mutilation and have a devastating consequences on those affected.

Also speaking, the Head of Department, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in Ebonyi State, Mr. Godwin Igwe on his part further noted that  FGM involves all reversal and change of female genital organs different from their original state as was created by God using knife, razor,drugs, Powder, hot water among others; urging all and sundry to be deeply involved in this fight against FGM.

"FGM involves all the reversal and change of Female Genital Mutilation organs different from the original state. It is very bad. We discovered you can't get anything good from it. FGM can lead to scares,lumps in private part and can lead to infertility as well as VVF during child birth.

"Most women affected do pass through operation during childbirth which can lead to death", it was gathered.

During the NOA visit at  Izzi local government area of Ebonyi state, some of the traditional rulers like HRH Eze Ogbonnaya Ukwa of Igbeagu community and his counterpart, HRH Eze Linus Nwizi of Ezza Inyimagu Community  who were present during the campaign all applauded the efforts of NOA in the fight against FGM, stating that as Royal Fathers, they have carried out many sensitization campaign as well as using their traditional mode of communication to enlighten the people and also put laws in place to punish anybody caught in such evil act.

Recall that World Health Organisation, WHO, Female Genital Mutilation comprises all procedures involving the removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has type 1,2,3, and 4

NATIONAL PANEL reports that the harmful practice affects millions of girls worldwide. UNICEF stipulates that each year, around 4 million girls worldwide are at risk of undergoing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), with most girls cut before the age of 15. There has been a significant progress made in eliminating the harmful practice, but more is needed, and fast, if we are to end it once and for all.

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