By David Adeoye
Ibadan, Aug. 22, 2020 The Oyo State Government in conjunction with HACEY Health Initiative, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) , has launched a campaign train tagged: ‘Stop Cut Project’, to achieve zero record of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the state within the next three years.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello, at a stakeholders meeting on Saturday, urged the public to put aside cultural beliefs on female organ mutilation considering its effects on victims.
Bello said that the society needed to be familiar with the consequences of the practice, “ hence, government needs to intensify its efforts in educating the populace on hazards attributed to the act.”
He attributed the existence of this harmful practice in the society to the inability of victims to report the perpetrators to the appropriate quarters for necessary actions.
He noted that the culture of silence from the survivors had not enabled the appropriate agencies of government to arrest and sanction the perpetrators for their actions.
The commissioner assured the convener of the project, HACEY Health Initiative, of government’s support toward the realisation of the set goals.
In his remarks, the Project Director, HACEY Health Initiative , Mr Isaiah Owolabi, said that the NGO was determined to create a network of active people willing to end FGM.
Owalabi said that key stakeholders would be engaged continually and build alliance for the purpose of eradicating the practice, especially, in the core rural areas of the state.
“Our motive is to increase public awareness on female genital mutilation by dishing out risks associated with the practice to the public.
“The duration for the intervention is three years and we are doing this in three states,p: Ekiti, Osun and Oyo.
“We are optimistic that we will achieve zero record of female genital mutilation in the three states at the end of this duration
“We are relying on the Ministry of Health and other relevant ministries and agencies in achieving this,” he said.
The Coordinator, Oyo State FGM, Mrs Balikis Olawoyin, described the act as a harmful practice, saying that the havocs emanated from it, “is usually irreversible.”
She added that the practice was regarded as a violation of girls’ rights, and therefore, called on parents to desist from encouraging or mandating their children to engage in mutilation of female organ