By Ragan Conteh
The Country Coordinator of the Amazonian Initiative Movement (AIM), Reverend James Kondunu, has revealed that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is one of the factors responsible for the high infant mortality rates in Sierra Leone.
According to Rev. James Kondunu, Sierra Leone is among the countries that have the highest rates of infant mortality, adding that this is one of the thorny problems that affect mostly children under the age of five years.
He said in hospitals there are several cases reported of fistula which is borne from female genital cutting, adding that most of those engaged in such dangerous traditional activities are people from rural settings across the country and most of them, according to him, are stack illiterate.
Pastor James Kondunu further disclosed that most women and girls that engage in prostitution have undergone FGM Practice.
“Don’t use Bondo to correct God, God made women perfect,” he said, adding that government should ban any tradition that affectsthe people negatively in any nation, especially Sierra Leone.
“The practice of FGM is associated with devilish endeavor, the very essence of marriage is what Bondo Women are destroying, no one should go through Bondo society before going to heaven,” Reverend Kondunu lamented.
The Director of AIM Sierra Leone, Madam Rugiatu Neneh Koroma said bondo society has become business today in Sierra Leone because people now initiate underage girls as low as six months old.
According to Madam Rugiatu Neneh, her institution has engaged Soweis and authorities in a bid to end FGM in the country, adding that such tradition that brings more expenditure to government should not be tolerated.
She said government spends billions of Leones in the health sector, but fails to examine or find the root cause of what is leading to infant and mortality rate in the country.
She continued that FGM is a major threat to the health and development of not only women but the nation as a whole and appealed to the government to pay key attention to FGM to sanitize the backwardness of women in the country.