The Chief of field office, UNICEF Enugu, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh, has raised the alarm at the persistent culture of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in some parts of the globe, saying that a campaign carried out by UNICEF in 2018 showed that seventeen countries are still involved in this obnoxious inhuman practice.
He observed that while vigorous campaigns by UNICEF to end the monster has continued to yield meaningful results in some countries, the reverse is the case in Nigeria with such states as Imo, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Osun, Lagos and Oyo recording the highest prevalence.
The UNICEF chief stated this when he declared open, a one day FGN/UNICEF programme of Cooperation (2018-2022), Sub Zonal Media Briefing in Commemoration of 2019 International Day of FGM/C in South Eastern Nigeria held in Enugu which had the theme “translate political decisions into concrete actions at the grassroots to reach the goal of zero tolerance to FGN by 2030”.
With a passion to address issues adversely effecting children including health, Conteh said that UNICEF has made strong impact in over 150 countries and is working with some partners on various platforms as well as in advocacy with the government for the protection of the right and welfare of the child.
“We try to let the government to see reason that children being leaders of tomorrow need to be taken care of. We need to build awareness at the grassroots on the dangers of FGM/C such as barrenness but people who are not medical experts are the ones involved in this very bad culture and the media should partner with the UNICEF to abolish it”.
Conteh explained that the exercise was organized to herald the 2019 International Day of FGM/C in the South East and to further engage the media in the crusade against FGM/C.
Director General of the Broadcasting Cooperation of Abia State (BCA) Uchenna Dike, represented by Okezie Mkpa stressed the importance of the media in information dissemination particularly on the dangers of FGM/C and enjoined media professionals not to sit on the fence in this regard.
The forum featured lectures on “Child Rights Reporting, Ethical Response from the Media by Dr Ezinwa Chidi of the Department of Mass Communication, Enugu State University of Science and Technology and FGM/C in Nigeria; an overview of the situation (practices/experience) in Imo and Ebonyi States and its impacts.”