May 9, 2020

Covid 19: African traditional or Western medicine?

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By Justice Faloye

Some people would be wrongly informed to choose one or the other, not knowing that they are actually related. While Eurocentric African leaders look to the Western world to provide a vaccine for the ongoing pandemic, they ignore traditional medicine that was the foundation of Western medicine from vaccination to most pharmaceutical products, and still a wealth of untapped knowledge.

Vaccination is a direct adoption of the ancient Original African medical practice, known in Yoruba as Soponna. Soponna, a practice popularized by the cure of smallpox, involved the minor controlled infection of a person with a disease in order to develop antibodies that can protect the person against any future major infection of the disease.

Usually a small incision is made and tiny scabs or pus from a diseased person is rubbed into a tiny incision (gbere) made into the skin to introduce it into the blood stream. Infact it was a such widespread practice that the healed mârk on a person (gbere) attracted a higher price with European Slave traders that saw it as a sign of medical fitness.

However, the practice of Soponna, vaccination, was not known to Europeans until the early 1700s when Cotton Mather, a prominent Harvard University pastor learnt about it from his West African slave, Onesimus.

At the time Harvard University, where he had graduated, and Yale University that he helped established, and other White universities trained mainly pastors and Latin literary scholars, not scientists and agriculturists until he gleaned West African knowledge from his slaves in 1706. He first tested the procedure in a minor smallpox outbreak in 1716 before it was popularized during the major 1721 Smallpox outbreak, when citizens were inoculated in Boston and London.

The success of the Soponna treatment led to the writing and publishing of his 1721 book, The Christian Philosopher, the first ever systematic science book in America, which tried to convince the Christian colony that science was in harmony with religion, following the public rejection of the Soponna inspired vaccination castigated as Black African magic.

As a younger man he had led the persecution of African slaves and their medical practices in the infamous Salem Witch hunt and trials. The appeal didn’t work with the masses whose minds had been poisoned and it took another 70yrs before it was repackaged from England as White medicine and became the foundation of Western medicine.

The African influence on Western medicine was not limited to Soponna practices but also included Osanyin herbs. All through USA, the Caribbean and rest of the Americans, female herbalists, Roots sellers, were common place in plantations and Black settlements selling herbal medicinal concoctions. The average African slave was healthier than the Europeans due to the herb concoctions for practically every ailment.

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Lesser known Cotton Mathers courted the slave root sellers to know, test and turn the herbs into tablet forms upon which the current multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry was built. African-Americans later pioneered from performing the first open heart surgery to inventing the blood bank.

Unfortunately, the psuedo African elites on the continent denigrated and continue to denigrate Original African traditional due to their colonial mentality and racial inferiority complex. Not knowing the history of smallpox vaccinations, Dr Oguntola Sapara Williams hounded Soponna priests out of Epe, leading to the 1917 Juju and Witchcraft Ordinance banning Soponna practices.

From Ijimere evolutionary science to medicine to political organization, and Ifa 256 pulses being the foundation of computers and information technology, Africans scoff at their traditional knowledge bank until outsiders adopt and rebrand them for financial and social benefit.

Now once again, we are witnessing the relegation of our traditional bank. The Ooni of Ife proffered the appropriate traditional knowledge in the treatment of Covid 19 that included the chloroquine plant, later advocated by the Donald Trump and now being sold by Malagascar across Africa.

However, the Nigerian medical and political leadership has been slow to pay adequate attention, while preferring to wait on our American student masters to provide a vaccine, despite reservations across the Black Race over medical ethnic cleansing.

Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, was the first in Nigeria to know of the imminent pandemic through warnings given by ASHE Foundation based on global ancient knowledge systems. He took the necessary steps to see if it could be warded away spiritually, but upon realization that it was unavoidable and a process in our evolution, he prescribed the traditional herbs and undertook an Oro festival.

Showing cultural leadership, Ooni went further to modernize the traditional process of Ero by distributing the most modern fumigation equipment so far in Nigeria, and is in the process of producing the herbal treatment in tablet or other modern means through a modern traditional herbal company.

China experienced far lower deaths than USA, UK, Spain and other Europeans because of its well developed and patronized Chinese herbal medicine, but can Nigerians suffering from a colonial mentality virus, do the right thing knowing charity begins at home.

African herbal medicines have a wealth of untapped medical knowledge stored in Soponna and Osanyin practices as well as other herbalists. From diabetes to glaucoma treated with a common plant instead of laser treatment, to blood boosters like the Igbo Ugu plant known as the African Magic Portion. We must realize that we can’t adapt any foreign technology without our own foundational knowledge.

This is not a case of either traditional or modern medicine but a call for better synergy which can only occur by stopping the stigmatization of African traditional medicine. The elite should know that not only Nigerians but the entire Black Race feel more comfortable with African herbs than medicines from Western pharmaceutical companies known to be driven by profit incentives, and alleged racist agenda of depopulation.

Long before this pandemic and global Black opposition to vaccines many Blacks in UK and USA had rejected vaccines for babies, quoting examples of the infamous Tuskegee trials, while Nigerians are not quick to forget the polio test scandal in Northern Nigeria.

Some have proposed that they would feel more at ease if the chemical composition and technology of the intended vaccine is handed to all Black medical centers for reproduction to the people. However, this will be shamelessly rejected because of the profit motive, seeing how American capitalists have been trying to monopolize copyrights, which shouldn’t be the case with the Pandemic threatening humanity from the Northern hemisphere. So, let us develop our own that would eliminate the fear of medical depopulation through direct poisoning or sterility as so called conspiracy theorists have claimed.

Ultimately, we can’t continue to entrust our medical health to outsiders, regardless of their past history of racism. Our herbal medicine and traditional knowledge bank as a whole can be a source of billions of dollars in revenue that will go a long way to also help with our hunger virus. In the meantime, let them repay the favor of adopting Soponna and Osanyin by handing over the chemical composition and technology used to produce the vaccine, if they don’t want Shango/Amadioha called into this issue.