Pattern of otitis media in young children and adolescents with traditional uvulectomy in Kano, Nigeria

Submitted: July 24, 2019
Accepted: November 10, 2019
Published: January 15, 2020
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Traditional uvulectomy is not an uncommon practice in Nigeria and most part of sub-Saharan Africa. Its practice is well documented in these countries. Traditional uvulectomy and otitis media are both prevalent in Nigeria. However, there is a dearth of studies on a causal relationship between the two in the Nigerian subpopulation. This study aims to assess the pattern of otitis media among young children and adolescents who had traditional uvulectomy. This study was a prospective, descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted on all consecutive eligible consenting patients aged 5- to 18-years seen in the ear, nose and throat clinic of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital with amputated uvula detected during routine examination were recruited. A standard tool was developed to obtain data from the patients. Thereafter otoscopy was done for all the patients. A total of 400 patients were recruited into the study, 246 (61.5%) were male and 154 (38.5%) female. The mean (standard deviation) of age was 12.4 (3.8) years. The commonest indication for traditional uvulectomy among the patients was as ritual [356 (89%)] with the least been speech disorder and failure to thrive [3 (76%)] each. Most (60%) had no symptoms suggestive of otitis media over the years. However, most (263 and 259 in the right and left ear respectively) participants had dull tympanic membrane on otoscopy. Majority (280) had their uvulectomy in the neonatal period, and post uvulectomy complications were low (17%). Symptoms of otitis media are not a common finding in patients with traditionally amputated uvulae.

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