An institutional survey of female genital mutilation in Lagos, South-West, Nigeria
Background: Female genital mutilation (FGM) as a procedure can have serious physical and psychological health consequences in girls and women.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of FGM and the socio-demographic factors which influence the practice among women in Lagos State.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study carried out at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) with eligible participants recruited by consecutive sampling method. Relevant data were collected using a structured questionnaire and physical inspection of the external genitalia was performed on each respondent to confirm the presence and type of FGM. All quantitative data were entered in the computer and analysed using SPSS version 17 for windows. Descriptive statistics were computed for all relevant data.
Results: The prevalence of FGM in the study was 56.3% with the largest proportion of the respondents with FGM being women aged 60years and above. The Yoruba ethnic group had the lowest prevalence of FGM (44.2%), while the highest prevalence was found among the Ibos (93.1%) (p=0.025). An almost similar proportion of Christians (53.3%) and Muslims respondents (62.4%) had physical evidence of FGM (p=0.074). Higher levels of maternal education was significantly related to reduction in practice of FGM (p=0.002).
Conclusion: There is an urgent need for a better analysis and understanding of the socio-demographic mechanisms sustaining the practice of FGM in Nigeria.
Keywords: Complications, education, external genitalia, Ibo, prevalence, socio-