Mar 26, 2009, 5:57 AM
A nationwide sensitsation campaign in the fight against harmful traditional practices with emphasis on Female Genital Mutilation was on Sunday 1st August 2010, launched in Basse, Upper River Region.
The ceremony, which took the form of a march-past of women and cultural groups and various presentations, was supported by the UNFPA country office.
Speaking at the programme, the Deputy Governor of the Upper River Region, Mr. Mamadou Sellou Jallow said that declarations by medical experts had confirmed that the practice seriously affects the health of the victims, and should therefore be abolished without hesitation.
According to Mr. Jallow, time has come for everyone to critically re-examine some of the cultural and traditional practices, especially Female Genital Mutilation, which according to medical submissions and affirmations, are injurious to the health of the female folk.
Noting that the fight against harmful practice should be everybody's concern, he called for collective efforts to ensure its total elimination for the safety of women and girl children.
Deputy Governor Jallow stated that what makes it even more urgent for the practice to be truncated is the emergence of infections, such as HIV/Aids, noting that the chances of spreading the virus is high through this process, as the instruments used are not sterilised.
He asserted that from a human rights perspective, the practice of FGM seriously violates international protocols and conventions, and must therefore be eliminated.
For his part, the Mr. Ebrima Njie, the Project Manager of the Awareness on Reproductive Health and Rights Project of the UNFPA supported country programme stated that the fight against the elimination of harmful traditional practices, especially Female Genital Mutilation has been in existence for a long time, dating back to the 17th Century. For him, the rate of the success being registered is low, which he noted, is due to a combination of factors including social, cultural and religious.
According to him, the need to eliminate the practice is essential in safeguarding the lives of women and girl children from the dire consequences of the practice which includes but not limited to the following: lost of blood, severe pain, prolong labour, infections, death etc.
He commended the UNFPA for supporting the nationwide campaign and then called on all and sundry to spread the gospel.