Family Structure and Bonesetter’s Gangrene in Children: A Case Series
International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health,
Aims: The aim of this case series is to draw attention to the influence of family structure on the patronage of traditional bonesetters and the frequent occurrence of bonesetter’s gangrene in children being raised in the absence of their biological fathers.
Presentation of Case: We present four cases of limb gangrene complicating musculoskeletal injury treatment by traditional bonesetters of children being raised by mothers in families where their biological fathers were lacking owing to marital conflicts.
Discussion: Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing steady growth in out-of-wedlock motherhood and marital instability which has resulted in a large number of single mother families in the region. Bonesetter’s gangrene is common in many sub-Sahara African countries including Nigeria, because of the widespread patronage of traditional bonesetters (TBS) for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. Children are often victims because being dependants, they are influenced by the health care-seeking decisions of their parents which is in turn affected by the number of parents that they live with, and whether their parents are married.
Conclusion: Interventions to protect children from bonesetter’s gangrene should include the provision of avenues for peaceful marital conflict resolution that preserves marital unions, and mothers and fathers should be health-educated so that they can make informed decisions on behalf of their children.
- Bonesetter’s gangrene
- musculoskeletal injuries
- biological fathers
- Sub-Saharan Africa
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