UNICEF has again called on critical stakeholders including federal, state and local governments to strengthen measures towards elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the country.
Specifically, the world body charged Imo State government to evolve its own sustainable enduring programme to tackle the monster, since its funding of the programme would terminate by end of the year.
Victor Atuchukwu, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, Enugu, gave this charge at a one-day awareness meeting of Imo state Technical Committee on FGM held in Owerri, the state capital.
The UNICEF Chief, who decried persistence of FGM in some communities across the country, charged members of STCs on FGM to be more proactive and passionate in crusade against the obnoxious practice for protection of rights of the girl child and future of children.
He disclosed that victims of FGM between ages of 12 and 14 in the state are on the increase, which requires drastic measures to be tackled.
Speaking, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Imo State, represented by Dr Anthony Eweputanna stressed that regulatory agencies are being engaged to stop indulgence of some nurses and midwives in FGM while patent medicine dealers are being trained on gender-based violence.
She called for town hall meetings which should involve UNICEF, NMA, all doctors, midwives and priests, to address the issue of medicalisation and elimination of FGM.
According to her, village heads should be placed on surveillance to checkmate the ugly practice.
The commissioner for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Group, Imo State, Nkechinyere Ugwu who declared the meeting open said the state government had enacted the “FGM”, Prohibition Law 2017 and is working assiduously to ensure that the VAWG Act is domesticated in the state.