Practice of female genital cutting amongst adults in Ilorin Metropolis, north-central Nigeria
Female genital cutting (FGC) is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights. About 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of FGC and about 92 million girls aged 10 years and above are estimated to have undergone FGC. In Nigeria, FGC is of public health importance because of its high prevalence and association with maternal and child morbidity and mortality. The study set out to determine the practice of FGC amongst adults in Ilorin metropolis, north- central Nigeria.
This descriptive cross sectional survey was carried out in Ilorin metropolis amongst 1,000 household heads and their spouses recruited using a multi stage sampling technique. A pretested semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was the data collection instrument used. Data was analyzed using the EPI-INFO version 3.5.1 statistical package. Data were presented using frequency distribution tables and charts. Cross tabulations of important variables were done. Chi-square test was used to determine the statistical difference in observation where necessary. A P value < 0.05 was considered significant at 95% confidence level.
The mean age of the respondents was 35.7(±13.6) years and about half of them 947 (47.4%) were between the ages of 30 and 39 years. Almost all the respondents were married (93.4%).More than half of the households 570 (57%) practiced female genital cutting. Majority 524 (92%) of the female genital cutting was done by a traditional practitioner. Slightly more than half of the respondents 247 (50.4%) practiced FGC as a form of religious obligation while just a few 55 (9.6%) practiced it to ease childbirth. There was a statistically significant association between socio-demographic variables and practice of female genital cutting (p values <0.05).
Majority of the respondents in the study area practiced FGC and they hold a lot of misconceptions about the effect of FGC. Concerted efforts of stakeholders to curb the menace will have beneficial effects on children yet unborn.
Keywords: North-central Nigeria, practice, Female Genital Cutting