Anthony Okeoghene Eguvbe, Peter Waibode Alabrah, Dennis Oju Allagoa, John Agbo


Background: Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or another injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. It is usually done on young girls between infancy and age 15. Nigeria, due to its large population, has the highest absolute number of female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide, accounting for about 25% of the estimated 115–130 million circumcised women in the world. Aim: To assess the awareness, prevalence and practice of female genital mutilation amongst students in a tertiary institution in South-South Nigeria. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study done amongst female students of the Federal University Otuoke from January to March 2018. A simple random sampling technique by simple balloting was used in the selection of the respondents until the sample size was achieved. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and were analyzed using SPSS version 22. Results: The majority (366 (88.6%)) of the respondents, knows about FGM. Most (350 (95.6%)) also know what FGM really mean. The majority, 292 (72.8%) of the respondents, does not support the practice of FGM. Two hundred and thirty-three (79.5%) of the respondents want the practice to be discontinued. The prevalence of FGM was 36 (9.4%). The ethnic group/tribe of respondents had a statistically significant association with being circumcised and also being aware or knowing about FGM (p > 0.05). The age of respondents was not found to be statistically associated with being circumcised or being aware or knowing about FGM (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Awareness and knowledge of FGM in this study were high. The majority of the respondents were not in support of the practice of FGM and want the practice to be discontinued. The prevalence of FGM in this study is lower as compared to many other studies. There is a need for more education to the general public and parents in particular on the health implications of FGM and the need for legislation against the practice.


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