A Medical Doctor and Director Medical Services with Kaduna State Ministry of Health, Dr. Ado Zakari Muhammed, said on Tuesday that Rigasa, a community in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State recorded highest number of women with Vesico Virgina Fistula (VVF), due to female genital mutilation.
Vesico Virgina Fistula (VVF) is a medical condition that makes the patient leak urine uncontrollably usually as a result of prolonged labour during delivery – but treatable through surgical procedure.
Speaking at an awareness workshop organised for traditional and religious leaders by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Bashir Fistula Foundation, Dr Ado said, the genital mutilation done to pregnant women is mostly responsible for the high rate of VVF in the country.
To drive home his point he said, most of the patients of Vesico VVF attended to at Gambo Sawaba Hospital, Zaria are from Rigasa, the largest community in Kaduna with over 1 million residents who are 90 percent Hausa Muslims.
According to him, aside the popular mutilation of the female children, there was another bad practice where Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) cut pregnant women who have prolonged labour.
“Unknown to many TBAs, by cutting the upper part of the pregnant woman’s virgina, that is where the bladder is, there is likely going to be more room for the head of the baby to come out.
“In the process, she will just make a cut that will go to the urinary bladder and she will start leaking urine from her virgina.
“So, Rigasa was chosen for this awareness because we have been getting so many cases of Fistula in Gambo Sawaba Hospital from Rigasa.” He said.
He then urged the traditional and religious leaders to take the message to their subjects and followers, to stop the parctice of female genital mutilation.
A Lawyer, Saudatu Musa Garba, who spoke on the legal implication of female genital mutilation said, section 34 of the Nigerian constitution prohibits it and prescribes four years jail term for whoever practices it.