History June 17, 2018 at 10:10 am

These ingenious African innovations existed before colonisation

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor June 17, 2018 at 10:10 am

June 17, 2018 at 10:10 am | History

A medicine man

Medicine

Before colonialism, Africa had herbalist healers who were treating all ailments. The African traditional healers went by many names such as Inyanga and Isangoma in Zulu, Ixwele and Amaquira in Xhosa, Nqaka in Sotho and Toor-dokter, bossie-dokter or kruie-dokter in Afrikaans.

Even now, these healers can be found across the continent, providing often better and cheaper alternative to western medicine. Some of these healers, apart from being knowledgeable about herbs, plants, and their medicinal purposes, were also spiritually endowed.

In terms of childbirth, Africans also recorded one of the amazing cesarean section way back in 1879. Bunyoro, a kingdom in Western Uganda performed a highly developed surgical procedure; a cesarean section that saved mother and child in pre-hospital days. This was received with shock as the cesarean section was then regarded in England as an operation of the greatest gravity only to be performed in the most desperate of circumstances. There is also a story of how an African, Onesimus, curbed the smallpox epidemic in an American city, Boston in 1721.

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