The above image, seen on the Kentake Facebook page changed my perspective about maternal healthcare in Africa. Western medical practitioners often treat African health care as primitive and outdated when there is a long history of herbalists, surgeons and a range of healers that we can learn from. With such high maternal mortality rates on the continent we can surely learn from our forebears. The Ebbers Papyrus is an amazing resource in this regard. It contains information about how the Ancient Egyptians tested fertility, made childbirth comfortable for women. The resources in the links below discuss a number of practices linked to childbirth including symbolism, dietary suggestions, the use of hypnosis as anaesthetic and the cultural practices of the Shona, Ewe and Yoruba amongst others.
Find the Ebbers Papyrus here:
In 1879 R. W. Felkin’s article “Notes on Labour in Central Africa” published in the Edinburgh Medical Journal, volume 20, April 1884, pages 922-930 illustrated men performing a C-section.