Background: The lack of otolaryngology services in our area may be a key cause of a high ear, nose and throat (ENT) disease complication rate. Poor management of ear infections can lead to many complications. The aim of this survey was to determine the epidemiological characteristic of ear infections and their complications in patients presenting to health facilities in Butembo city.
Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional chat review survey carried out from January 2017 to December 2017.
Results: Overall 2865 patients consulted for an ENT problem, 714 presented with ear infections (24.9% of all ENT patients seen) and had completed data. There were 438 men and 276 women with an average age of 26 years old. The most affected age group was children aged between 0 and 10 years with 30.01% prevalence. The prevalence was highest in rural (29.8%). Otitis media predominated (85.6% of all ear infections). Otitis externa and interna were represented with a frequency of 13.35% and 1.05% respectively. The most common complication was chronic otitis (41.7%).
Conclusion: Ear infections remain a serious public health problem because of their incidence and complications associated to a high morbidity. Early and detailed consultation by an otolaryngologist might be a solution to this high rate of their complications in our area.