oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Uvulectomy in coastal Tanzania

Volume 11, Issue 11
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



(1) Uvulectomy by African medicine men was found to have been done in 152 out of 314 inpatients in Muhimbili hospital, Dar es Salaam. Indigenous uvulectomy is believed to be a common and widespread practice in Tanzania. (2) The indications given for uvulectomy, methods used, fees charged and after-effects are descriptionbed. Serious after-effects occasionally occur and three cases of serious illness after uvulectomy are descriptionbed. (3) Belief in the efficacy of uvulectomy in curing chronic cough appeared to cause considerable delay in the diagnosis of tuberculosis in over 20 per cent. of tuberculous patients interviewed. This is probably a significant public health problem in East Africa, (4) The common practice of indigenous uvulectomy indicates continuing widespread belief in traditional African medicine.

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