The United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, has reacted to the alleged involvement of medical practitioners in the increasing cases of Female Genital Mutilations, FGM in Ebonyi state.
UNICEF officials made this known while speaking at an event organized for law enforcement officers and judiciaries on Violence against persons by the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development at Ohaukwu LGA.
According to the UN agency, the increasing trend is dangerous, as medical workers are supposed to help in the sensitisation of the populace on the dangers of FGM rather than encourage it.
However, the Director Child protection, Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr Godwin Igwe, while speaking about the development said trained and quack medical practitioners are promoting female genital mutilations in the state.
Igwe said they deceive uninformed parents telling them to disregard the claims that FGM is bad and that anaesthetic will be given to ease the pain.
He said “So we are saying that there is a need to wage relentless war, it is not urban-based, we need to go to the hinterland to inform the people to disabuse their minds.
“It is not all about gathering in the hotels, we can go to the market square, not to the traditional rulers alone, some people owe no allegiance to the traditional rulers because some of them are not the choice of the people.
“That is why it is important to meet the people in their groups, churches, August meetings which is fast approaching to tell them that it is not only because of pain that we say they should abandon FGM, but other negative effects that follow.
“There is a need to get not only the medical doctors in the hospital, not only the licensed ones, the patent medical practitioners, that are spread in all the nooks and cranes of the rural areas.
“They need to be reached or trained to let them understand that what they are doing is not good, because they may not understand the consequences we are talking of.
“When we talk of medical workers or practitioners, it is not only the licensed ones, there are some people who are in the village, who did not go to secondary school that are doing operations, claiming that what one man can do another man can do it.
“Cases of FGM are usually done in the secret, some cases of doctors practising it has been taken to the ministry of health, and punishment has been given to them, some of their licenses withdrawn from them.”