Traditional Cauterization Among Children in Bint Al-Huda Hospital in Al-Nasiriya City, Iraq

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Abdullah Hmood Abdullah
Raid kareem Dehiol


Traditional Cauterization, Children


Cutaneous Cautery is a form of traditional medicine inherited in many countries. It was mentioned in the books of many ancient, pre-Islamic and post-Islamic scholars. Patients may resort to traditional medicine (cauterization in particular) for many reasons.

The aim of this study is to get more knowledge about the cautery practices, and the reasons for practicing cautery in children together with other implications from adverse events of the cautery.

This is a cross-sectional study was in which 133 children were enrolled  (77 males and 56 females with age ranged from 0.5-108 months) who had been admitted to Bint Al-Huda Maternity and childhood Teaching Hospital in Nasiriya city , Thi-Qar Governorate, southern Iraq, from 1st of December 2019 – to end of July 2020).

The study found that >80% of cauterized children were of age group bellow 1 year, (53.4%) of rural residency. Parents of the cauterized children were mainly of illiterate  and primary teaching  constituting the highest percent, (91.6%) of cauterized children were of low per capita monthly income, the grand-mothers were the adviser in more than half of the cauterized children, vast majority of the advisor were illiterate  and primary teaching , the person who do the cautery was the traditional healer in (95.5%). Cauterization was done mostly in head and abdomen, and vast majority of it was done by lightened cotton tipped application (97%).The number of cauterization points has ranged from 2-25 with mean of 8.8 cautery marks . About 59% of patients not improved or  worsen, while 30% show partial improvement and 11% improved. Complications seen in 9% of cases.

There is a necessity of spreading awareness about the dangers and complications of traditional cauterization in health care centers and by health care providers. Improving  the delivery of medical services to areas far from city centers as well as spreading health awareness in multimedia together with the control of illiteracy.

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