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Awareness, perception and practice of female genital mutilation among expectant mothers in Jos University Teaching Hospital Jos, north-central Nigeria.

Niger J Med. 2010 Jul-Sep;19(3):311-5.

Awareness, perception and practice of female genital mutilation among expectant mothers in Jos University Teaching Hospital Jos, north-central Nigeria.

Dattijo LM, Nyango DD, Osagie OE.

Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos,
Nigeria. Lamaran2@yahoo.com

BACKGROUND: WHO estimates that some 130 million women worldwide are affected, and every year another 2 million girls and young women are at risk of undergoing the  practice of FGM. Although Nigeria has a prevalence of 19% in 2003,a reduction from 25% prevalence of 1999 national survey, it still has high absolute number of cases with wide regional variation. The awareness and perception of expectant mothers may give an insight as to what awaits their unborn daughters and have a bearing on the future of the practice.
METHODOLOGY: Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 260 expectant mothers at the antenatal clinic of Jos University Teaching Hospital between 1st and 31st July 2007.
RESULTS: Majority of the respondents (94.6%) were aware of FGM. Mass media was the main source of information. Majority (83.8%) wanted the practice to be discontinued, 31.3% reported having had FGM, most done by traditional healers. About 14.6% have a plan to circumcise their daughters citing tradition, marriage prospects, and faithfulness to husband as their reasons. Only 16.2% wanted the practice to continue.
CONCLUSION: There is high level of awareness of the FGM among respondents who also have negative attitude to the practice, even as the practice is still prevalent. More health education is needed to illustrate the dangers of the practice in order to safeguard the health of the girl-child.

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