Ibi Ugwu (Male circumcision) in Igbo Land.
Circumcision is the act of removing the female genitalia or the male foreskin that covers the head of the penis.
Ibi Ugwu (male circumcision) is the removal of the foreskin covering the head of the penis.
Circumcision is done by experts like midwives and native doctors. It is also done by physicians in these modern times.During circumcision in Igbo land, the foreskin of the male penis is cut off and the operated part is treated to heal quickly and to prevent any form of infection. The procedure takes about five to ten minutes. Ibi Ugwu for Adults takes about an hour. Ibi Ugwu (male circumcision) heals generally within five to seven days.
The circumcision of babies in Igbo land is an ancient culture and tradition of the Igbo people which has its origin from their traditional religion.
In ancient times, the Igbos circumcise both male and female children but as civilisation set in, the genital mutilation of Igbo female children was stopped while that of the male child continued till date.
The circumcision of male babies (Ibi Ugwu) in Igbo land is done on the 8th day after birth, which incidentally is the same as two weeks in Igbo calendar. For some male newborns, Ibi Ugwu is done on the 3rd day after birth.
In some Igbo settlements outside Nigerian shores, male circumcision is postponed until adulthood as a sign that one is now a man ready to marry and face the responsibilities of life.
It has been discovered medically that Ibi Ugwu has some health benefits which includes;
– Reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases in men.
– Protection against penile cancer and reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners.
– Prevention of inflammation of the head of the penis.
– Decreased risk of urinary tract infections.
– Prevention of the inability to retract the foreskin.
– Ibi Ugwu (male circumcision) makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean.
Risks and Problems.
The risks and problems associated with Ibi Ugwu (male circumcision) includes;
– Risk of Injury to the penis.
– Irritation of the head of the penis.
– Increased risk of inflammation of the opening of the penis.
– Risk of bleeding and infection at the site of circumcision.
Ibi Ugwu (male circumcision) is esteemed among the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria. According to the Igbo culture, It is shameful for a male not to be circumcised.
Circumcision is done for religious, traditional and even health reasons.Circumcision can be done medically or traditionally. Training of traditional healers on safe circumcision should be considered.
There is also need to utilize traditional circumcision ceremonies for reproductive health education. More research needs to be done on the claims that the male foreskin plays a significant role in sexual satisfaction.
-Culture of Ibi Ugwu in Igbo Land- Obindigbo (November 2015).obindigbo.com.ng.- Ibi Ugwu in Igbo land- Old Naija (February 2017) oldnaija.com.- Male circumcision; Oldest ancient procedure, its past, present and future roles Tanzania Journal of Health Research July 2013.