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Survey of Women's Opinions on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Southeast Nigeria: Study of Patients Attending Antenatal Clinic

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      Background:Female genital mutilation is known to exist especially in many third world countries including Nigeria with many women being victims of this harmful practice and its complications. The practice is rife in Southeast Nigeria and efforts have been made to discourage it.Objective:To determine women's views on aspects of female genital mutilation and the prevalence among the study population.Method:Women attending the antenatal clinics of two university teaching hospitals in Southeast Nigeria were interviewed by means of structured pre-tested interviewer- administered questionnaires. The data obtained were analysed using SPSS version 10.0 and the results expressed in descriptive statistics as percentages.Results:The prevalence of FGM was 42.1%. However, only 14.3% of the respondents circumcised their own daughters or showed willingness to circumcise their daughters indicating considerable reduction in uptake of the practice. A larger proportion (63.7%) would support legislation against FGM.Conclusion:There is a high opinion against the practice of FGM in Southeast Nigeria, with the majority of the women showing support for legislation against it.

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      Most cited references 19

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      Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome: WHO collaborative prospective study in six African countries.

      Reliable evidence about the effect of female genital mutilation (FGM) on obstetric outcome is scarce. This study examines the effect of different types of FGM on obstetric outcome. 28 393 women attending for singleton delivery between November, 2001, and March, 2003, at 28 obstetric centres in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan were examined before delivery to ascertain whether or not they had undergone FGM, and were classified according to the WHO system: FGM I, removal of the prepuce or clitoris, or both; FGM II, removal of clitoris and labia minora; and FGM III, removal of part or all of the external genitalia with stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening. Prospective information on demographic, health, and reproductive factors was gathered. Participants and their infants were followed up until maternal discharge from hospital. Compared with women without FGM, the adjusted relative risks of certain obstetric complications were, in women with FGM I, II, and III, respectively: caesarean section 1.03 (95% CI 0.88-1.21), 1.29 (1.09-1.52), 1.31 (1.01-1.70); postpartum haemorrhage 1.03 (0.87-1.21), 1.21 (1.01-1.43), 1.69 (1.34-2.12); extended maternal hospital stay 1.15 (0.97-1.35), 1.51 (1.29-1.76), 1.98 (1.54-2.54); infant resuscitation 1.11 (0.95-1.28), 1.28 (1.10-1.49), 1.66 (1.31-2.10), stillbirth or early neonatal death 1.15 (0.94-1.41), 1.32 (1.08-1.62), 1.55 (1.12-2.16), and low birthweight 0.94 (0.82-1.07), 1.03 (0.89-1.18), 0.91 (0.74-1.11). Parity did not significantly affect these relative risks. FGM is estimated to lead to an extra one to two perinatal deaths per 100 deliveries. Women with FGM are significantly more likely than those without FGM to have adverse obstetric outcomes. Risks seem to be greater with more extensive FGM.
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        Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey

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          Female genital mutilation: knowledge, attitude and practice among nurses.

          Female genital mutilation (FGM) and cutting is a subject of global interest, with many countries of the world still practicing it despite efforts by the WHO and other agencies to discourage the practice. The highest known prevalence is in Africa. To determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of FGM among nurses in the ancient metropolis of Benin in a Nigerian state where FGM is illegal. One-hundred-ninety-three nurses in the study hospital were recruited in the study out of which 182 (94.3%) appropriately filled and returned the questionnaires. The average age of respondents was 37 years, and the average duration of postgraduation experience was 14.5 years. Most respondents are of Bini (36.8%) and Esan (34.1%) ethnic origin. All respondents identified at least one form of FGM, but only 12 respondents (6.6%) could correctly identify the four types of FGM. The harmful effects of FGM identified by the majority of respondents include hemorrhage, difficult labor/childbirth, genital tears, infections and scar/keloid formation. Forty-four (24.2%) of respondents were of the opinion that some forms of FGM are harmless. Eighty nurses admitted to having undergone FGM, for a prevalence of 44%. Five respondents (2.8%) view FGM as a good practice and will encourage the practice. Twelve respondents (6.6%) routinely perform FGM out of which seven (58.3%) viewed FGM as a bad practice. Nurses performing FGM routinely were those who had spent >20 years (59%) and 11-20 years (41%) in the profession. Another 26 (14.3%) had performed FGM before, though not on a routine basis. Of this latter group, 15 will perform FGM in the future when faced with certain circumstances. Reasons for FGM practice were mainly cultural. Eight of the respondents would have their daughters circumcised. Nurses perceive FGM in Benin as cultural. Almost half have had FGM themselves, and a small percentage recommend it to their daughters. Discouraging FGM practice will require culturally sensitive education of the healthcare providers and the population at large on the ill effects of FGM, including the risk to health and violations of human rights.

            Author and article information

            [* ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Anambra State University Teaching Hospital, Awka, Nigeria
            [** ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
            Author notes
            Correspondence: * Dr. C.C Ezenyeaku, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Anambra State University Teaching Hospital, Awka, Nigeria. E-mail: cyrilezenyeaku@
            Ann Med Health Sci Res
            Ann Med Health Sci Res
            Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research
            Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
            Jan-Jun 2011
            : 1
            : 1
            : 15-20
            Copyright: © Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Original Article


            campaign against: southeast nigeria, female genital mutilation


            This study shows an interesting trend towards the condemnation and reduction of FGM in Southeast Nigeria, as two third of the participating women would approve legislation against the practice. The finding that only 14.3% of the participants had circumcised their daughters points into the same direction. The study offers insight in a neglected aspect of the practice by stating that many of the participating women felt incomplete after undergoing FGM. This aspect would be interesting to further illuminate.

            2015-06-11 14:56 UTC

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