International Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Research

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Knowledge, attitude and practice of female genital mutilation among doctors and nurses in Bayelsa state, Niger-Delta of Nigeria

IA Ibrahim, AS Oyeyemi, AA Ekine


Background: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a harmful traditional practice that is deeply rooted in Africa. It has been outlawed in Bayelsa state of Nigeria but there is evidence that its performance by traditional circumcisers and health professionals continues. Aim: The study aimed to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of FGM among doctors and nurses/midwives practising in public secondary and tertiary hospitals in Bayelsa state. Methods: One hundred and ninety seven (197) structured questionnaires were administered to all available doctors and nurses/midwives in the study hospitals for self-completion. Epi-Info version 3.5.1 was used to analyse data. Results: All the respondents were aware of FGM. A higher proportion of nurses/midwives than doctors had ever been asked and had ever treated patients with complications of FGM. More than 90% of respondents said it was not a good practice. Out of the 70 female respondents, 19 (27.1%) said they were circumcised. Only one nurse/midwife admitted to performing FGM presently. Conclusion: Doctors and nurses/midwives practicing in the study hospitals were well aware of FGM and were favourably disposed towards its elimination. Efforts should be made to reinforce this position.

Keywords: Female genital mutilation, knowledge, attitude, practice, doctors, nurses/midwives
AJOL African Journals Online