was living in a Sudanese refugee camp when stumbled across an old man who made a living performing uvulectomies on 4-8 infants every morning. The babies were generally 2-6 months old. Because the uvula looks like a worm, the refugees believed that it dripped down into the stomach and gave the newborns diarrhea. For the next three months I looked down several hundred (adult) throats and did not find a single intact uvula. This tradition is pervasive throughout rural North Africa.
the man removing uvulas as part of a PBS series. The footage is unusual because foreigners are not allowed inside the refugee camps before 8AM and all of these surgeries happened at around 6AM while it was still cool out.
I have found almost nothing in the literature about this procedure. I’d be very interested in your comments.
N.B: I filmed a whole series of stories on traditional medicine in Africa – including the local bleeder, burner, butcher-surgeon, etc. I would love to post some of them here – in every case there were aspects that I could not explain – but I don’t want to overstep. Please let me know if this somewhat esoteric topic would be of interest to you.
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