Is there a role for trado-medicine in the Nigerian health sector? (24)

11 January, 2019

Dear Chris Kam-wa Chan,

You asked: "For umbilical cord management in Zambia from Neil, would you please specify which streams of traditional practice is harmful? Would love to see more quantitative researches showing the epidemiology and magnitude of the problem."

The traditional practice of applying cow dung or chicken faeces to the umbilical stump would be expected to predispose to sepsis and/or tetanus. For example Swain and Ray (2009) identified Bacillus, Corynebacterium, Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus and Streptococcus in cowdung. I have not researched the subject, but a quick Google search on "cow dung umbilical stump" reveals a number of recent articles that confirm an association between cow dung application and neonatal sepsis/tetanus. I would be interested to hear from HIFA and CHIFA members on this subject.

"Neil, I am happy to summarise the past discussions on this topic if most of us are too busy to do so. Please let me know the arrangement / procedures."

Thank you Chris. I'll get back to you separately.

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: