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The Ancient Kingdom Of Uganda Practiced & Perfected Caesarian Section Long Before Europeans

The Ancient Kingdom Of Uganda Practiced & Perfected Caesarian Section Long Before Europeans

Ancient Kingdom Of Uganda Practiced & Perfected Caesarian Section: It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that infection-free surgery became a reality in the medical establishments of England and many other parts of the western world. According to traditional British thinking, Caesarean section was considered a life-threatening procedure that should only be undertaken in the direst of circumstances (Young, 1944).

Surgical practitioners in Europe have also been documented to have cleansed their hands after surgery and not before; they have also been caught in the difficult decision of whether to save the life of the mother or the life of the kid during a Caesarean section.

Since antiquity, and possibly as far back as the ancient Egyptian civilization, the ‘medicine men’ and highly experienced surgeons of the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom of present-day Uganda have performed advanced level infection-free and highly successful Caesarian sections on a large number of babies.

In the region surrounding Lakes Victoria and Kioga, there is a kingdom known as Bunyoro-Kitara. While the vast woods of the Congo Basin defended her western and western-most borders, the highlands of East Africa guarded her eastern and southern frontiers, and the wetlands of southern Sudan guarded her northern and northern-most frontiers, respectively. The indigenous people were farmers, artisans, and highly adept medical practitioners, all of whom were able to cultivate art forms as a result of their near-isolated geographical location. One of the skills that the medicine men of Bunyoro-Kitara were able to master to a high degree was the art of performing Caesarean sections on patients.

After a few years of medical school studies, one explorer, R. W. Felkin, volunteered with a group of his companions to go as missionaries to the Ugandan Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara in 1878, and they were successful. His unique opportunity to observe a medicine man from Bunyoro-Kitara do a highly successful Caesarian surgical surgery on a 20-year-old woman took place there…

…In the Ugandan hut where the Caesarian section was to take place were three men; one was holding a knife, the other was holding unto the ankles of the young woman and the third stood above her abdomen, supporting either sides with his hands in the course of the surgical procedure. The surgeon who wielded the knife foremost washed his hands, surgical instruments and the abdomen of the young woman with banana wine for sterilization purposes, he then proceeded to ‘baptize’ only his hands and the abdomen of the woman with a clear liquid resembling water…

…the woman was laid in an inclined position with the head of her bed supported against the wall of the hut. She was given a considerable measure of some banana wine to drink in order to make her less sensitive to the surgeon’s blades. Bark cloth was used to cover her breasts and vagina area…

…the surgeon started the Caesarian section by reciting an incantation occasionally voicing out certain key phrases to which the community of his patient’s relative and loved ones gathered outside the hut responded. After the ceremonial prayer ritual, he proceeded with the operation proper…

…the Bunyoro-Kitara surgeon cut the woman’s abdomen from above her clitoris to the point beneath her navel. The cut was done with such precision and such skill as was unprecedented. The surgeon unhanded his knife and reached out for the wailing baby in the womb. Punctured blood vessels were remedied by the use of hot iron, and this was skillfully but sparsely deployed as well. The baby’s umbilical cord was cut and handed along with the baby to the assistant who held onto the woman’s ankle…

…the surgeon afterwards turned the woman unto her side close to the edge of the bed so that whatever liquid is left within her uterine walls can drain out, he then closed up the opened area with a paste of medicinal herbs. Sterilized metallic ‘clamps’ were used moments later to close up the open flesh on the abdomen and again covered by a paste made out of roots and herbs mixed in measured proportion…

…with the Caesarian section completed and successful, the Bunyoro-Kitara surgeon delivered woman and baby to her family and she was ushered home amongst cheers, love, and happiness.

This procedure was prevalent among the medicine men of the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, and they had mastered it long before there was any interaction with Europeans, as well as with explorers, adventurers, missionaries, and plunderers from other parts of the world, who came to the region seeking riches.

The Afrikan tradition is still alive and well; it is a home of wisdom that stands the test of time. Our responsibility, then, is to study its deep depth with fire and passion, so that we might, as a result of our satiated curiosity, provide well-informed information to our descendants.

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