…Says Nigeria Can Stamp Out Scourge By 2030


Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode on Tuesday urged mothers, fathers and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to continue to voice their concerns, while governments at all levels put in place the right statutes for total eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria and in Africa by 2030.  


Mrs. Ambode spoke to journalists in Alausa, Ikeja in an event to commemorate this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.


She expressed optimism that Female Genital Mutilation could be stamped out of Africa by 2030, if all individuals and institutions and stakeholders work together towards achieving that purpose.


Mrs. Ambode said that although the practice was well entrenched in the continent, with some countries recording up to ninety per cent prevalence among girls and women, the situation was not hopeless if the current advocacy was sustained or increased.


According to her, “The pace of penetration of awareness seems slow because the practice is an ancient one, deeply rooted in our various cultures but that does not make our efforts fruitless. Though progress may be slow, we are going somewhere as rural women, mothers and young girls, are becoming aware of the severe health implications of the barbaric practice.


“Few years ago, many women, even some educated ones, saw it as a normal and socially acceptable practice but the story is fast changing, as awareness is getting mileage and rural women are now campaigning against it.”


The Governor’s wife implored governments at all levels to fight the practice with direct legislations, in the manner they are doing with some wicked anti-female practices.


She emphasised that FGM constituted an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls, directly violating their rights to health, security and physical integrity, wondering why women should be subjected to such life-threatening dehumanization.


February 6 every year, is set aside by the United Nations, as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation across the world.


UNICEF, NGO boosts Niger healthcare with N31m – Official

The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Save One Million Life Project, an NGO, have jointly supported the Niger State ‘s Maternal and Newborn Child Health Week (MNCHW) with about N30.8 million.

The amount covered the provision of free medical care for children and women in the state, according to an official.
Mrs Amina Isah, Deputy Director Nutrition in the state Primary Health Care Development Agency and MNCH Focal Person, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Thursday.
NAN reports that the MNCH week is a bi-annual event that was set aside by the National Council of Health in 2010 to provide interventions to children in every six months of the year.

Isah explained that the ongoing MNCH week that started on Jan. 15, and was expected to end Jan. 19, was a carryover of that of November/December 2017 intervention programme.
She explained that the state was observing its own MNCH week in January 2018 because it did not participate in that of November/ December.

The deputy director said that UNICEF was supporting the intervention programme with N14,891,632 million, while Save the One Million Project supported with N15,929,800 million.
She added that the financial assistance from UNICEF and the Save One Million Life Health Project was used to provide drugs, mosquito nets and other free healthcare services to children and pregnant women across the 275 wards of the state.

She noted that the target was to reach out to one million under five children with Vitamin `A’ supplement, Mid Upper Arm Screening for Malnourished children and routine immunisation.

The deputy director added that 3,000 pregnant women would benefit from free anti-natal services, free HIV/AIDS screening and free mosquito nets.
“Before the launching of the week by the wife of the Governor, Dr Amina Bello, on Monday our technical staff were trained and deployed to local government areas on advocacy and social mobilisation.

“In collaboration with UNICEF, monitors from the state, national level and other partners were assigned to hard-to-reach areas to see that the programme is a success.
“So far, there has been cooperation from pregnant women and parents have been bringing their children to the primary healthcare facilities to access medical care,” she added.
Isah appealed to mothers to make use of the weeklong event because of the benefits.