Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal

ARTICLE
Year
: 2008  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 229--233

Splenic enlargement and abdominal scarification in childhood malaria. Beliefs, practices and their possible roles in management in Benin City, Nigeria


OM Ibadin, AN Ofili, LU Airauhi, EI Ozolua, AB Umoru 
 Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O M Ibadin
Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Benin, Benin City
Nigeria

BACKGROUND: To achieve sustainable reduction in malaria burden in Africa, cultural practices that foster increased malaria burden must be addressed. In Edo state Nigeria, scarification/tattooing on the left hypochondrium presumably over an enlarged spleen arising mainly from malaria is widely practiced. This practice is deleterious, diversionary and causes complications. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This was a cross-sectional and descriptive study to evaluate the beliefs and practice, regarding abdominal wall scarification in children and within the context of malaria control; It was carried out among experienced women in child care selected from Egor Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. METHODS: Information relating to beliefs, knowledge and their practices including possible socio-cultural/economic determinants were obtained with use of questionnaire. RESULTS: Of the 400 questionnaires administered 394 were responded to. The modal age bracket was 26 - 30 years (Range, 18 - 56 years) Respondents were mainly Binis Esan and Ibos amongst others. About 27.0% of respondents considered the spleen a «DQ»bag of worms«DQ». Other views included «DQ»collection of bad blood«DQ» 27.2% and as a sickness of its own, 14.7%. Named causes of splenomegaly were fever, 59.6% and evil spirit, 15.5%. Over 45.0% of respondents would consult the herbalists for splenomegaly. Less educated (X2 = 40.0, p<0.005), women over 40 years of age (X2 = 13.5, p< 0.05) and Esan/Bini ethnic groups (X2 = 15.6, p <0.05) are more prone to the practice. Reasons for widespread use included perceived effectiveness, low cost and accessibility. Information on scarification was obtained mainly from family members, 49.5%, neighbours, 25.1%; and friends/colleagues, 16.7% CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATIONS: Practice of scarification is deep rooted and widespread in the study location. It has potentials to negate efforts involved in malaria control. Education including public enlightenment campaign should effectively check the practice.


How to cite this article:
Ibadin O M, Ofili A N, Airauhi L U, Ozolua E I, Umoru A B. Splenic enlargement and abdominal scarification in childhood malaria. Beliefs, practices and their possible roles in management in Benin City, Nigeria.Niger Postgrad Med J 2008;15:229-233


How to cite this URL:
Ibadin O M, Ofili A N, Airauhi L U, Ozolua E I, Umoru A B. Splenic enlargement and abdominal scarification in childhood malaria. Beliefs, practices and their possible roles in management in Benin City, Nigeria. Niger Postgrad Med J [serial online] 2008 [cited 2021 Feb 25 ];15:229-233
Available from: https://www.npmj.org/article.asp?issn=1117-1936;year=2008;volume=15;issue=4;spage=229;epage=233;aulast=Ibadin;type=0