Rachel Umahi

Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki

Wife of Ebonyi State governor, Mrs Rachel Umahi, has advocated rapid house-to-house sensitisation against female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) in the 13 local government areas of the state.

Mrs Umahi made the declaration during a one-day symposium commemorating the 2017 zero FGM/C Day sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Enugu under the UNICEF/UNFPA programme with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID).

The governor’s wife noted that the FGM bill was on the state governor’s desk waiting to be signed into law, stressing that such practice would receive the full weight of the law.

According to her, “The administration of Engr. David Umahi has zero tolerance for FGM and any moment from now, a bill against the practice will be passed into law. The bill is already on the desk of the governor waiting to be signed.”

Harping on the theme: “Sustainable Policies and Responsive Services: Twin-Pillars for FGM/C Eradication in Ebonyi State”, the UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Charles Nzuki, noted that the symposium signifies a shining example of leaders who are committed to a cause to improve quality of life for vulnerable women who undergo excruciating pains of the practice.

He expressed worry that millions of women and girls have continued to undergo the harmful practice of FGM which causes high risk for maternal mortality, Vesico Virginal Fistula (VVF).

Nzuki noted that schools remained a veritable platform to educate and facilitate reorientation of families, duty bearers and communities about the harmful effect of the practice.

He further stressed that health facilities should provide great opportunities to convert the routine contact and clinic attendance including ante/post-natal and immunisation clinics to disseminate lifesaving messages to prevent the practice