AS part of efforts to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the governments of Osun, Oyo and Ekiti states have partnered with Hacey Health Initiative to train and equip stakeholders with relevant knowledge needed to change the narrative in their states.
The Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Muideen Olatunji, while speaking on the capacity building workshop in Ibadan, said the workshop was aimed at increasing the knowledge of members of ministries, departments and agencies on understanding policies against female genital mutilation and advocacy against the practice.
According to him, “What we are seeing here today involves many other stakeholders, and in life, you cannot give what you don’t have. So, if you are not well informed, there is no way you can do the cycle of campaign against female genital mutilation. This kind of capacity building is a way of spreading the gospel and making sure that many stakeholders that have a role they are possibly going to play are well keyed into the campaign against female genital mutilation.”
He further explained that the state government would continue to sensitise the general public on the consequences and the dangers inherent in female genital mutilation, urging the traditional circumcisers to desist from the practice.
“Well it is simple. We will continue to drum it into their ears the negative impact of female genital cutting, the danger attached to it, the mothers and the children that will suffer the consequences; also, the father that will bear the consequences of losing a child even at birth. Nobody wants to raise a child and lose that child prematurely.
“We are trying to get it across to many people in the local government areas, as many LCDAs as possible. We want to get close to the grassroots and from there, people can imbibe the culture. Not only that, even among the younger ones themselves, we try to educate them so that when they become mothers, they already know and they will reverse the trend,” he said.
Also speaking, the Vocal Officer on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Ekiti State, Mrs. Kemi Akinleye, advocated the inclusion of female genital mutilation related courses into the school curriculum as a subject and course from primary to tertiary levels of education.
Mrs. Akinleye, who spoke through Mrs. Mercy Olotu at the workshop, called on men to join the campaign train against FGM to ensure the practice becomes a thing of the past in the society.
In her remarks, Executive Director of HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson said that the workshop was organised to educate the stakeholders on how to participate in the crusade and the need to end female genital mutilation in the states