FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION: PREVALENCE AND PERCEPTION OF PATIENTS IN SOUTH-EAST NIGERIA
*Babafemi Daniyan, Ileogben Sunday-Adeoye, Kenneth Ekwedigwe and Danladi Dantani
Context: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is characterized by serious medical and psychosocial problems. Despite the consequences and widespread condemnation, the practice has continued to thrive. Objective: This study was carried out to document the prevalence of FGM among women seeking care at the National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, Nigeria and their perceptions about the practice. Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study carried out among 412 women who had surgery at the National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki. Information on sociodemographic characteristics, history of circumcision, time of circumcision and opinion about circumcision was obtained from the women. The information was transferred into a proforma. Data was analysed using the SPSS version 21and presented in tables. RESULTS: A total of 412 women were studied. The mean age of the women was 51.8+10.3 years. About one-third of the women were aged 50-59 years while 81.3% were grandmultiparous. About 90% of the women were farmers and 50% were married. One hundred and thirty-seven (33.3%) were sexually active and 300 (72.8%) had stopped menstruating. Majority (91.5%) were circumcised. Over half (54.4%) were circumcised in childhood, 29.9% in adolescence, 10.9% before marriage and 4.9% after marriage. Most of them (78.6%) believed the practice was bad and 88.3% desired it should be stopped. Conclusion: FGM is still common in our environment. Over half of the procedures are done in childhood. Majority of the women affected believe the practice is bad and should be stopped. Education at all levels is needed to eradicate it.
Keywords: Female Genital Mutilation; Female Circumcision.
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