Factors associated with the knowledge and attitude towards Female Genital Mutilation among antenatal clinic attendees in Southern Nigeria
Background: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) remains a common cultural practice in Benin City, Edo State and by extension, Nigeria. The knowledge and attitude towards FGM may play significant roles in influencing this harmful socio-cultural practice.
Objective: To identify factors associated with knowledge and attitude towards female genital mutilation (FGM) among Antenatal Clinic (ANC) attendees in selected health facilities in Benin City, Edo State.
Methods: A facility-based, descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted involving 400 pregnant women recruited by systematic sampling technique from selected health facilities in Benin City, Edo State. A pre-tested, interviewer-administered questionnaire was utilized for data collection from consenting pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in selected public tertiary and secondary health facilities in the study area. Information related to socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge, and attitude towards FGM were collected.
Results: The mean age of the respondents was 30.3±4.8 years. All the respondents were aware of the term Female Genital Mutilation. Two hundred and forty-eight (62%) and 302 (75.5%) had good knowledge and negative attitude towards FGM respectively. Age group (p = 0.005), religion (p = 0.007) and educational status (p <0.001) were identified as significant factors influencing knowledge of FGM while in relation to attitude towards FGM, knowledge of FGM (p<0.001) had significant influence.
Conclusion: This study identified a gap between knowledge and attitude towards FGM among the respondents. Good knowledge of FGM significantly influenced attitude towards FGM. There is a need to scale up health sensitization during ANC sessions to bridge the gap identified.
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