Tooth follicle extirpation and uvulectomy

The Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health, The University of Western Australia.
Australian Dental Journal (Impact Factor: 1.48). 01/2006; 50(4):267-72. DOI: 10.1111/j.1834-7819.2005.tb00372.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Migration is not only the movement of people, but also of their culture, customs and beliefs. As more people from developing countries in Africa migrate to industrialized countries, the more likely health professionals will find themselves providing care for people of whose customs and practices they have little knowledge. This review of the literature suggests that removal of deciduous canine follicles and uvulectomy are frequently practised in some African and neighbouring countries. Reasons given for deciduous canine extirpation include the prevention of vomiting, fever and diarrhoea. The indications for uvulectomy appear widespread, including treatment for persistent fever, coughing and growth retardation. The practices are usually performed by traditional healers. Risks for children who undergo these procedures are extensive, including septicaemia, potential for HIV transmission, numerous dental complications and death. With improved understanding between Western health teams and local, traditional people, an improved system may develop whereby the two systems can work together in providing improved health outcomes for the people.

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    ABSTRACT: Traditional healers in Nigeria continue to perform uvulectomy for all throat problems despite the severe complications they present to physicians. It is a hospital-based prospective study done at the outpatient unit of the Department of Otolaryngology, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria to determine the prevalence of traditional uvulectomy, highlighting the dangers it portends with suggested ways of providing improved health outcomes for our people. We saw 517 new cases of which 165 (32%) patients aged 2 years to 53 years had their uvulae amputated consisting of 108 (65.5%) males and 57 (34.5%) females giving a male to female ratio of 2 : 1. One hundred and forty two (86.1%) patients had uvulectomy at childhood and 23 (13.9%) in adulthood. The commonest indication was throat pain (n = 36, 21.8%). The commonest complication was hemorrhage (n = 29, 17.6%). Forty six (27.9%) patients required hospital admission.
    01/2011; 2011:704924. DOI:10.5402/2011/704924
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    ABSTRACT: Little is studied about traditional healers‘ perceptions toward and practice of uvulectomy, which is known as a traditional surgical practice mainly in Africa and which sometimes results in severe complications. This study aimed to clarify the perceptions toward and practice of uvulectomy and the other traditional healing practices of traditional healers in a Congolese refugee camp in Tanzania. Interviews were conducted with 149 traditional healers, comprised of 59 registered, 68 non-registered and 22 faith healers. A total of 1.7% of the registered healers and 8.8% of the non-registered healers had ever conducted uvulectomy on children (a median of 2 months to a median of 3 years of age) and had received cash or domestic fowls equivalent to US$1-3 per operation. Although over 80% of the respondents believed traditional treatments to be more effective than modern medicine, less than 20% considered uvulectomy beneficial and in fact about 40% considered it to be harmful. The respondents raised cough, vomiting, appetite loss and other symptoms as an indication for uvulectomy, and death, bleeding, throat pain and other symptoms as harmful effects associated with uvulectomy. In this camp, the healers also performed other surgical procedures, such as male and female circumcision, tattoos and scarification. In conclusion, only a limited number of the traditional healers believed that uvulectomy is beneficial and performed it on infants and young children, and these were mainly non-registered healers who had relatively little collaboration with modern health professionals. In refugee settings where modern health professionals might not be familiar with traditional healing, it is considered crucial to assess the risks of ongoing traditional practices and to strive to achieve more strategic communication between modern and traditional health providers
    Tropical Medicine and Health 01/2006; DOI:10.2149/tmh.34.159
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    ABSTRACT: Ritual dental extraction among Sub-Saharan African populations has been practised for centuries, yet little is known about the removal process for any ethnic group. Dinka and Nuer refugees to the US requested replacements for missing anterior teeth removed during childhood. Among 36 Sudanese refugees, 238 individual extractions had been performed. Three retained canine/incisor root fragments; their cases are presented, including memories of the tooth-extraction ritual.
    British dental journal official journal of the British Dental Association: BDJ online 03/2008; 204(3):121-4. DOI:10.1038/bdj.2008.46 · 1.08 Impact Factor


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