Quick Note on Successful C-section Pre-Colonial Africa, in Bunyoro Kingdom

As I read the account of Dr.  Robert W. Felkin of a successful C-section in the Bunyoro kingdom, I could not help but realize that in Africa, and particularly in this instance in the Bunyoro kingdom there was superior anesthetics, antiseptics, and advanced medicine which allowed them, at a time when in Europe this was considered a desperate measure performed only on dying mothers, to successfully deliver both mother and child.

Caesarean delivery in Uganda, 1879 (Felkin RW. Notes on labour in Central Africa. Edin Med J 1884;29:922-30.)

One important oddity in Felkin’s account is the illustration of the native doctor and his assistants and the pregnant mother. Note that in his written account, Felkin said of the woman that, “she was perfectly naked. A band of mbugu or bark cloth fastened her thorax to the bed, another band of cloth fastened down her thighs…The oddity is in the drawing: why would Felkin draw the native doctor and the assistants all naked, when he stated that the woman was naked? If the native doctor and assistants were all naked, wouldn’t he have stated that also? If he stated that she was naked, that means that, that was already something that stood out, i.e. that in normal days, the woman would be dressed, and for this operation only was she naked. This also implies that the native doctor and assistants were clothed, and only the patient was naked! Lastly, this may mean that either it was not Felkin who drew the image, or that Felikin was so astonished by the superiority of the Bunyoro doctor and assistant, and Bunyoro superior medicine, that he felt the need to present them in some ways as inferior people, savage men. What better way than by drawing them as primitive people all naked?

See… this is another case of falsifying history, denigrating a people, and debasing them. How low! Remember how I told you about the rich history of African Fabrics and Textiles and the falsification performed by The New York Times, and also about the account by Cadamosto in the 1400s of very well dressed Africans (Description of African Dressing in 1400s) he met on the coast of most likely modern-day Gambia!

12 thoughts on “Quick Note on Successful C-section Pre-Colonial Africa, in Bunyoro Kingdom

  1. Pingback: Quick Note on Successful C-section Pre-Colonial Africa, in Bunyoro Kingdom – African Heritage - LBNN

    1. I am stunned by this website. they are copying my work, my articles, and placing it under another person, Simon Osunji. This is pure theft of ideas. No credit nothing, even my images! I did not authorize this.

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      1. Sofia

        Dear Dr. Y.,
        That’s unbelievable!!! Word for Word!

        Some years back I posted on President Sylvanus Olympio’s Wikipedia Webpage, an account of what happened the night of his assassination. (My father was the US Ambassador in Togo then.) I was deeply surprised, when reading your website, a few months later, that a fellow reader had posted my exact description, claiming that he had *Interviewed* me, and that I was now a Grandmother. Strange!!! I had no idea who he even was! He made no mention of the *Wikipedia* article, of course…Yes, it is amazing how much “poaching” goes on in the name of “Journalism”!

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      2. Sofia

        Oh, dear.
        Hope I was not rude back then. But really…It was a bit much! Just making up an “interview” out of thin air.
        Hope you can communicate with the website that stole your article. They should at least buy it from you!

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  2. Delores Griffin-Stokes

    I too questioned the nakedness of the medical staff. Yes, it does denigrate the people. The African people and other people of color are never acknowledged as frontrunner by white historians. Access to information will continue to enlighten the world. Thank you!

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  3. Sofia

    Dr. Y.,
    Regarding the skilled *C-sections*. It is worth taking note that in the Western countries even *Surgeons* did not even so much as *Wash Their Hands* until the *19th century*. There was so little understanding of true sanitation and possible *Infection*. It could also be that during surgery in the Bunyoro Kingdom, the medical team washed themselves all over. (Much harder to bring sanitized *clothing* into the Operating Room.) Just a possible take on the illustrations. The description of the procedure includes *several* indications of dealing with the problems of infection, including the note that the actual surgeon *Washed His Hands* with Rice Wine. Clearly Alcohol being the disinfectant.

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    1. Yes… Thanks Sofia for your comment, and for sharing this information. I did not know that in the Western countries, until the 19th century, many *surgeons* did not even *Wash Their Hands*. In the Felkin account, there is indeed a big emphasis on disinfection, and antiseptics by the Bunyoro *surgeon* and assistants.

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