The dangers of traditional healers in Samoa

Heba Hamami *
Brighton & Sussex Medical School*
Traditional healing is a common practice in Samoa. A nine-year old girl (SK) presented with a fever and a painful limp following a fall, indicating septic arthritis. She was discharged against medical advice. She presented with inability to walk following four weeks of healing massages. A pelvic x-ray revealed severe bilateral osteomyelitis with extensive destruction of the hip joints. She was treated by incision and drainage followed by antibiotics. SK recovered well, however, she is unlikely to regain her ability to walk. Traditional healing is normally harmless, however, this case portrays the dangers of unregulated treatments.
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