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Knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes to female genital mutilation (FGM) in Shao community of Kwara State, Nigeria.

Int Q Community Health Educ. 2006-2007;27(4):337-49.

Knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes to female genital mutilation (FGM) in Shao community of Kwara State, Nigeria.

Amusan OA, Asekun-Olarinmoye EO.

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria.


To determine the level of knowledge, belief, and assess the attitude to female genital mutilation (FGM) and its complications in Shao community, Nigeria, a cross-sectional descriptive study with a health education intervention was used. A majority of respondents (99.5%) understood female circumcision to mean cutting off parts of the female genitals. There was a high level of knowledge regarding most of the complications of FGM as more than 50% of respondents knew at least four complications of FGM. Awareness of the global anti-FGM campaign was also high (78.8%). The most common reasons proffered for the practice of FGM were based on tradition or religion. Paternal grandfathers (50.0%) and fathers (21.0%) were cited as decision makers in the family most often responsible for requesting FGM. Post-intervention results showed that there was a statistically significant increase in the proportion of respondents who know more complications of FGM and who have no intention of circumcising future female children. Despite a high level of knowledge regarding the complications of FGM and a high level of awareness of the global campaign against it, there still exists a high prevalence of practice of FGM in this community. FGM remains a pressing human rights and public health issue. It is our recommendation that this health education intervention strategy be replicated nationwide especially using mass media.

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