Towards characterization of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in rural Nigeria|
Odo, Amelia Ngozi; Dibia, Samuel Ifeanyi Christian; Nwagu, Evelyn Nwanebe; Umoke, MaryJoy & Umoke, Prince Christian Ifeanachor
Background: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a public health challenge and seems to be secretly practiced in some rural
communities, despite the ban in Nigeria.
Objectives: The study aimed to identify the activities that are involved in FGM, type(s) of FGM practiced and the knowledge
of health implications of FGM among rural community members in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
Methods: We employed exploratory design using qualitative technique. In-depth interviews were conducted with 44 adult
(18 years and older) volunteers in four rural communities in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. After thematic analysis using NVivo 11
Pro software, eight sub-themes emerged, among which are: types of FGM practiced, seasons for FGM, FGM by health
workers and community leaders, punishment for refusing FGM and knowledge of health implications of FGM.
Results: Findings show that FGM is more like a process than just an act, and type most practiced in the study area is Type
1. Circumcisers are health workers and women leaders. Knowledge of health implications of FGM was found to be low
among those interviewed.
Conclusion: Based on the findings, we concluded that FGM is still practiced in some rural communities in Nigeria, maybe
because of poor knowledge of health implications of FGM.
Female genital mutilation; qualitative study; practice; health implications; Nigeria.