Traditional practices among children of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel

C. Zamir, D. Zamir, S. Rishpon, N. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Ethiopian immigrants are a unique population group in Israel with traditions originating in Africa and a relatively high prevalence of certain infectious diseases. Traditional practices concerning young children are still very common in this community. Our aims were to evaluate the prevalence of two traditional practices - uvulectomy and dental extraction - among Israeli-born children of Ethiopian immigrants, and to find out whether the use of these practices is associated with certain demographic and health characterisitics. Methods. A group of 411 children aged 9-36 months were evaluated for uvulectomy and dental extraction. Demographic and health data were collected from medical files. Results. Uvulectomy was performed in 186 children (45%) and dental extraction was performed in 113 children (27%). Lack of maternal education was significantly associated with the use of both procedures, but no significant complication was reported. Conclusions. Traditional practices are still common among Israel's Ethiopian immigrants several years after immigration. The association between the performance of traditional practices and lack of maternal education implies that health education programs would benefit this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-356
Number of pages6
JournalAmbulatory Child Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Ethiopian immigrants
  • Traditional practices
  • Uvulectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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