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Otitis media in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

  • J. J. Manni (a1) and P. N. Lema (a1)


To assess the prevalence of otitis media in Tanzania a study was made of 3772 patients attending for the first time the ENT out-patient department of Muhimbili Medical Centre, University Hospital of Dar es Salaam. Otitis media in one form or another was present in 524 patients (14 per cent). The majority reported a long history of ear discharge.

Hearing loss was a major complaint and was often found to be between 40–60 dB. H.L. Most patients admitted previous treatment, but otoscopy had rarely been performed. The medical profession in Tanzania cannot possibly deal with the large number of cases of chronic otitis media.

With the recent introduction of otorhinolaryngology into the curriculum of the medical school of Tanzania it seems advisable to include otology in the programme for primary health workers.


Corresponding author

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, St. Radboud Hospital, University of Nijmegen, Philips van Leydenlaan 15, 6500 HB Nijmegen. The Netherlands.


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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
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