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Jul 2015, Vol 3, Issue 3
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Original Article
Sociodemographic Predictors of Genital Mutilation (Circumcision) of the Girl Child in Nigeria: A Population-Based Study
Donatus Ignatius Chidiebere Osuorah1,2
1Child Survival Unit, Medical Research Council UK, Gambia Unit
2Department of Paediatrics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi Anambra state, Nigeria

IJWHR 2015; 3: 142–150
DOI: 10.15296/ijwhr.2015.30
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Keywords : Child, Circumcision, Female, Genital mutilation, Nigeria
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Abstract
Objectives: Female circumcision is regarded as mutilation of the external genitalia of women and the girl child. It is entrenched in the cultures of many communities in developing countries particularly in Africa. It has long been recognized internationally as a violation of the right of the woman and the girl child.

Material and methods: This study tried to determine the socio-demographic factors that predict circumcision of the girl child. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine predictors of girl child circumcision.

Results: The overall prevalence of the girl child circumcision in Nigeria is 23.9%. When stratified by region, the prevalence was 36.8%, 15.6% and 9.1% in the North-west, North-central and North-east region respectively and 30.8%, 22.8% and 8.0% in the South-west, South-east and South-south region respectively. Within states, the prevalence of female circumcision ranged from 0% in Katsina to 57.9% in Jigawa state. Prevalence was almost twice among Muslim households than other religions. Majority (91.8%) of the girl child circumcision was done before the first birthday (0-11 months) and 84.6% was performed by a traditional circumciser. Type I (44.1%) and II (47.9%) were the commonest type of genital mutilation performed. In the final regression model, only mothers opinion about female circumcision, whether she was circumcised and region of residence significantly determined the likelihood of a girl child been circumcised.

Conclusions: Appropriate and targeted education of mothers and circumcisers focusing on the undesirable effect of female circumcision will significantly reduce the practice of female genital mutilation across Nigeria.

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