Stop using herbs to treat congenital abnormalities in children, physician tells parents


A Paediatric Surgeon, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi has urged parents to stop patronising local herb sellers for diagnosis and solutions to congenital abnormalities in children.

Abdullahi, the Executive Director, Niger State Hospitals Management Board said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Minna.

According to him, some diseases can resolve on their own but noted that there are some conditions that cannot resolve without surgical interventions.

“After parents have waited for diseases to heal or resolve by themselves and it does not, it is necessary to see a doctor.

“Most surgical diseases cannot resolve without surgical interventions, it is always better to seek an expert’s advice rather than patronising quacks in the name of traditional healers,” he said.

Abdullahi said that the best thing to do was to seek expert advice than seeking a cure by trial and error from local herb sellers and traditional healers.

“Visiting unorthodox practitioners is like cutting corners, this is a risky and unhealthy practice.

“Over time, many parents have cried to us after exhausting their resources with unorthodox practitioners who not only wasted their time but caused more harm to the child,” he said.

The executive director noted that some parents who have children with congenital abnormalities had continued to trample on the child’s right by not taking them to the hospital for proper diagnosis and medical attention.

“We have seen cases of children born without an anus, whose parents resorted to unorthodox practice, perforate the child with a hot iron where they think the anus ought to be.

“While some said they consulted a native doctor who incised the perianal of the child to connect the anus, well they may connect to the anus but it will never be continent.

“These conditions as it is, are not for every doctor, but specialist paediatric surgeons.

“In Niger State, we are only two, the other is at the Federal Medical Centre Bida, only two of us have the know-how to manage all congenital abnormalities in children here in Niger,” he said.

Abdullahi explained that parents could give paracetamol to children to relieve pain or fever but for congenital anomalies, they do not resolve.

“While some children are born with imperforate anus, some are born with swelling like hernia or hydrocele around their groin among other conditions”.

Parents, Abdullahi said, should not do self-medication for such conditions but rather promptly consult a specialist to avert degeneration of the condition and fatality if poorly managed.

 (NAN)



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