TWEET CONFERENCE: Mainstreaming the FGM/C Abandonment Campaign into other Programs such as the Immunization Programme

From Nigeria in West Africa,  we welcome you all to today’s weekly twitter conference to end FGM/C supported by @UNICEF_Nigeria

We have online @felxfames, @Femijoss and @TheSocial_nerd  as our anchors for todays conversation

@cydi2k @28Toomany @endcuttinggirls This week, we will discuss “Mainstreaming the FGM/C abandonment campaign into other health programs such as the immunization programme  

This conversation will last from 5pm – 7pm Nigerian time. From 6:00PM, questions we will give room for questions on this topic 6:00pm. Thanks.

Based on the topic, our presentation will focus on enumerating the strategies for mainstreaming the end FGM/C campaign into other existing health programmes, such as immunization, for purposes of protection, prevention, tracking of FGM/C cases, etc. 

Our presentation will come in four parts A. Meaning of FGM/C; B. Protection. C. Prevention and D. tracking new cases of FGM/C using existing health prgrammes. 

Before we proceed, @felxfames will take us on the meaning of FGM/C for the sake of those joining our conference for the first time

FGM/C stands for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. FGM/C is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons.

There are four (4) types of female genital mutilation/cutting:

Type 1 (clitoridectomy): partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce.

Type 2 (excision): partial or total removal of & clitoris and & labia minora, with or without excision of & labia majora

Type 3 (infibulation): narrowing of & vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning & labia minora and/or & labia majora, with or without excision of & clitoris

Type 4 (unclassified): – all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example, pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization.

FGM/C violates the human rights of girls/women, and has immediate and long-term negative effects on their health & general wellbeing. 

FGM/C is deeply rooted in tradition and persists as a social norm that is upheld by underlying gender structures and power relations.

For additional information on FGM/C, please visit our YouTube channel or website at www.endcuttinggirls.org

FGM is a traditional practice which is detrimental to girls‟ health but it can additionally be the source of the denial of many other rights of the child 

FGMC is linked with early marriage which can be a sanctioned form of child sexual abuse.

It is critical to mainstream FGM/C into existing health programmes for the protection of the girl child

Immunization programmes are often widely stated as less risky and an easier way to become immune to a particular disease than risking a milder form of the disease itself. 

Immunization programmes are important for both adults and children in that they can protect us from the many diseases out there. Immunization not only protects children against deadly diseases but also helps in developing children’s immune systems.

Through the use of immunizations, some infections and diseases have almost completely been eradicated throughout the United States and the World. Refusal to take a child to be immunized is seen as illegal in many African countries such as Nigeria. Immunization is one of the health programmes that can be tapped into to ensure newly born babies are not subjected to any form of FGM/C. Immunization programmes happens at birth, 6 weeks after birth and so on… therefore, with the periods of immunization, health workers can protect, prevent and track FGM/C cases in communities where it is practiced..

At birth, new born babies are usually at the hospital. In other situations those born outside the hospital are brought in for immunization. During the immunization services, the health personals should carve out a ++session to properly educate the women on FGM/C

In Africa, 3.9 million girls can be saved from FGM/C before 2030 if FGM/C is properly mainstreamed into immunization programmes. @28Toomany @UNICEF_Nigeria.

In some grassroot communities where FGM/C is carried out on new born babies on the 8th Day after birth, sensitization of mothers during immunization, has been proven to be effective in preventing new cases of FGM/C.   During house to house immunization services, the community health workers can be trained and equipped with skills to educate families on FGM/C, they can talk to any family they visit during the immunization programme. .

Please note: Mainstreaming the FGM/C abandonment campaign into immunization programme is only effective where the practice is being carried out on children.

During a first visit to the health facility for immunization after deliver (6 weeks), the health workers can check if the baby has been subjected to any form of FGM/C. Health facilities heads should step down FGM/C training to health workers in their facilities to report FGM/C cases.  While observing the child, the health workers can check if the baby has been subjected to FGM/C or not. Health facility registers should be reviewed to accommodate reported cases of FGM/C brought to the health facilities. Educational Materials and pictorial materials should be produced and placed in health facilities to serve as teaching aids for health workers during their health talk to women during immunization.  

In conclusion, Immunization programmes can help prevent, protect and track FGM/C cases in grass roots communities   

Endeavour to visit www.endcuttinggirls.org , and follow twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube using @endcuttinggirls.

Thank you for your time. The chat is now open for question.  

Together we will end FGM/C in this generation

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