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17.10.2007 Health

Stakeholders evaluate FGM prevalence in Upper West Region

By GNA

Stakeholders on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) have observed that it was still being carried out in some communities in the Upper West Region without detection by Law Enforcement Agencies.

They have therefore, called for the recruitment of informants who should be motivated to report FGM cases in such communities to the appropriate agencies for legal action to be taken against those culprits.

The stakeholders made the observation at a day's seminar to evaluate the practice in the Region after the promulgation of a law to ban it.

It was attended by District Gender Desk Officers, Cultural Officers, Traditional Rulers, Traditional Birth Attendants and Herbalists.

The Centre for National Culture, organized it as a follow-up to the first seminar held in May, 2004.

Police Inspector Emmanuel Mwinsori, Head of Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of Ghana Police Service, blamed Ghana Health Service for its failure to report FGM cases for prosecution.

He cited an instance when acting upon a tip-off, he followed one such case to a clinic in the Wa West District but the nurses in-charge refused to talk.

Police Inspector Nwinsori said the nurses complained about an attack from people in the community when identities of the culprits were given to the police for prosecution.

He said the police had received reports that FGM was common in Burkina Faso therefore, people living along border communities such as Gwollu, Fielmuo, Hamile, Yaga and Wechiau, sent their children across for FGM.

Mr Mark Dagbee, Upper West Regional Director of CNC said the practice was deep seated and noted that as cultures died hard and people would naturally resist change, it was imperative that the situation was evaluated in collaboration with stakeholders after the promulgation of the law.

He observed that none of the traditional authorities condemned and discouraged the practice until health and human rights activists started drawing people's attention to its physical and psychological harmfulness.

Madam Cecelia Anyoka, Senior Midwife of Wa Municipal Health Directorate, however, observed that examinations conducted on girls during post natal and outreach programmes in the communities had not recorded any FGM case in recent times.

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