A medical doctor, Dr. Edmund Orbini has taken to his twitter handle to beg parents and at the same time warn parents of the dangers of abdominal scarifications because of splenomegaly (udé ) citing the it as a harmful cultural practice.

Dr Edmund there after spoke on the causes, and treatment of ude which he called splenomegaly…

“Splenomegaly: Called Ude in bini, ama-apo in ibo. Its basically a local reference to abdominal swelling in children especially, as a result of an enlarged spleen.

Medical causes of enlarged spleen in children include sickle cell, thalassemia, malaria, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, malnutrition, parasites, heart failure, liver disease, biliary diseases, some cancers, etc

Local treatment which is a major problem with this is that children are subject to various manners of torture via intricate or haphazard abdominal scarring with blades, knives, and other sharp objects by herbalists, grandparents, guardians etc.

Abdominal scarification
Abdominal scarifications is a harmful traditional practice

This practice is common amongst the uneducated and few educated ones.


Common complications from this include: Bleeding, Sepsis, Tetanus which could result in eventual death. Also death may result from the untreated underlying cause! Some of us may have been victims or witnesses to this barbaric child trauma.

Abdominal tattooing
Abdominal tattooing for ude

So please: if you notice a child’s tummy is getting bigger, take the child or advice the caregivers to take him/her to a hospital for proper investigation and treatment.

All these forceful tattooing honestly does not help anybody.

It only complicates matters.” He said.

Here are his tweets

Truly speaking, this age long practice in most parts of Nigeria and Africa need to be banned or outlawed by the government. It is another form of mutilation of the child. It does not help the child in any way rather it spreads infections and most times kills the child.

Adults whose abdomen where scarified as children have also complained of psychological distress because of the stigma that may be associated with it.


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