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Complications of the ‘Treatment’ of Tonsillar infection by traditional healers in Nigeria

  • A. Olu Ibekwe (a1)


Traditional healers in Nigeria attempt to treat tonsillar infections either by performing unulectomy with a sickle knife or by digital rupture of the tonsil. These procedures result in various complications, including haemorrhage, septicaemia, cellulitis of the neck, peritonsillar and parapharyngeal abscess, upper airway obstruction, and pharyngo-larygocele with pneumothorax. These complications are illustrated with case reports. The danger of encouraging traditional healers to practise unsupervised and unscientific medicine is stressed.



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Ijaduola, G. T. A. (1981) The Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 95: 11271133.
Martinson, F. D. (1980) Personal Communication.
Paparella, M. M., and Shumrick, D. A. (1973) Otolaryngology Vol. 3. Head and Neck, W. B. Saunders, Chapter 21, p. 296.
Ribeiro, A. L. (1953) East African Medical Journal, 30: 393.
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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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