Dr Okechukwu Ossai, Director of Public Health, Ministry of Health in Enugu, says female genital mutilation can endanger productive health and fertility, advising parents to desist from the practice.
Ossai gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Enugu.
“Female genital mutilation is the removal of genital tissue which involves removing necessary glands leading the vaginal environment to become unfavourable to sperm.
“It also involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris and possibly the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris, removal of the labia minor and the labia major, among others.
“Parents need to be warned because female children who undergo such practice are at risk of infertility.”
According to him, female genital mutilation is a violent practice that deprives the female child of her right and the chance to reach her full potential.
The director said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recognised female genital mutilation as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
According to him, 193 nations unanimously agreed to a new global target to eliminate female genital mutilation by 2030.
He said that the global target was important, but not enough, and urged the global community to protect the wellbeing and dignity of every girl child.
“Recognition of this harmful practice, though important, is not enough; as a global community, we need to take responsibility for ending this harmful practice.”
He also said that appropriate institutional frameworks for advocacy and plans against the practice should be established in rural areas where the practice was mostly prevalent.