Beryl Thyer Memorial Africa Trust: supporting African children that suffer from Burkitt lymphoma cancer

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“This sick be not witchcraft. Take pekin for Baptist Hospital”

So say members of our parent groups to the guardian of a child suffering from suspected cancer.

On the 18th November we travelled to Ntaba, a large village near the Nigerian border to visit one of our parent groups. The leader, Paul Tanwarong had invited a prominent local village practitioner/bush doctor (described by Paul as a “sorcerer”) to meet us. We asked questions about his practice and he told us that his most frequent diagnosis is “witchcraft”. Some of our Baptist medical colleagues will have nothing to do with these men but their “professional” organisation is recognised by the government and they are all men of standing in their communities, their “skills” being passed from father to son. We prefer to get alongside, to educate and show them that there is a better way – though we have to confess that we cannot always cure even with our “powerful” medicine. I asked him to please send any pekin (child) with “big face” or “big belly” to Banso Baptist Hospital.

At Ntaba village. In the centre: the village practitioner (red shirt), Prof Hesseling (with stick) and Paul Tanwarong

At Ntaba village. In the centre: the village practitioner (red shirt), Prof Hesseling (with stick) and Paul Tanwarong

Paul Wharin, December 2016

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