Traditional surgeons in sub-Saharan Africa: Images from south Sudan

Steven H. Miles, Henry Ololo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Itinerant traditional surgeons work throughout sub-Saharan Africa and perform many procedures including: tooth extraction, abortion, injections, incising and draining abscesses, uvulectomy, circumcision, inguinal hernia surgery, non-invasive cataract luxation, and surgery on closed and open fractures. Cutting and injection equipment are not cleaned and are used on a rapid succession of up to 10 patients in a single clinic session. These procedures cause haemorrhage, septicaemia, tetanus, gangrene, contractures, abscesses, airway obstruction, keloids, iatrogenic fistulae, lacerations of vital organs, loss of limbs, and death. Recent work suggesting that many cases of HIV infection may be caused by medical exposure lend a new urgency to researching the work of traditional surgeons. Collaborative programmes for re-training and re-shaping the work of these practitioners is more likely to be effective in reducing the morbidity than attempts to suppress their work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-508
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Medicine traditional
  • Post-operative complications
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Surgical instruments


Dive into the research topics of 'Traditional surgeons in sub-Saharan Africa: Images from south Sudan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this