Need To Complement Orthodox And Alternative Medical Practices – Afie Obarakpor

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“When the delivery period was close, our doctor invited us for a series of tests. He discovered the baby was in a breech position with her legs to the passage. The doctor advised us to prepare for CS and asked us to deposit #150,000 within a week. I was scared and my annoyance rose to heaven blaming my wife for allowing another pregnancy”

Local herbal concortion (agbo)


The government should integrate alternative medical practices with mainstream medical services. This is the best way to grow our health delivery system to the surprise of the world thereby saving foreign exchange for the country.

My recent experience reinforces my beliefs in the potency of alternative medical practices. My son has been home observing this ASUU enforced strike for about two months. He hardly goes out except to buy a few items and go for Sunday and weekly services.

Recently, we noticed his whole body covered with what the doctor diagnosed to be measles. He recommends ampiclox, 7 keys to Power and body lotion. The doctor instructs that we quarantine him so as to preserve the family. After one week of no improvement, we opted for Beecham ampiclox, thinking the previous ampiclox was fake. No improvement after two weeks of treatment.

Meanwhile, neighbours soon noticed his absence and we had to tell our friends about his medical challenge. They recommend we take him to elewe-omo (herbs sellers).

The Elewe-omo lady examined him and quarried why we kept him at home for this long. She gave us several leaves and roots with instructions to boil them for him to drink. By the second day of the treatment, the terrible itching stopped and the acne on the skin has started to dry up. He was completely restored within a week or so of treatment. Elewe-omo charged me #5,000 while I spent #20,000 on the medication from the doctor.

The above reminds me of my growing up. Then, my paternal uncle had about twenty female to three male children. He had to go and acquired herbal knowledge to enable him to have male children. At old age, he had three male children from his last wife. Now, he taught my late father the secret and skill.

My father only did it in my presence for three couples that had compelling reasons to be helped. One, an immigration officer and his wife had had eight female children. The last boy is the result of the herbal intervention. The second one was a cousin after five females. And another.

My immediate elder brother now resides in the United States. He was observant as he watched my father practised his skill and equally did it for one of his friends. He visited the friend in those days to celebrate with him on hearing the wife had given birth. He got there while the couple was quarrelling because his wife had given birth to the fifth female child. My brother assured them the next baby will be a boy if they are still interested in having another. The last is the only boy in the family. We have at the moment lost this knowledge and the skill to Westernisation.

My last experience reinforcing my beliefs in the efficacy and potency of our alternative medical practice happened sixteen years ago. My wife took in for our only female child having had four boys. The pregnancy caused a serious altercation when I discovered she removed the anti-pregnancy device planted by our doctor.

By the time we got to our home that day, I remembered I came from the village. We made contacts and sought out one Urhobo local midwife. We visited her in the Iju area of Lagos for two days. She confirmed the doctor’s report of the child breeching, charged us N10,000 for her services and asked us to come back in two days’ time to correct the baby’s position in the womb.

We returned to her house as appointed. After administering some herbal preparation, she asked my wife to lie down for the exercise. It was a massaging process on the legs of my wife. According to my wife, she was feeling the movement of the baby in her womb as the midwife was massaging the legs. The process took ten minutes and asked us to go for a test to confirm.

We went back to our doctor the next Saturday. The doctor was happy we could raise the deposit within a week. I informed him we want to be sure before paying the deposit. After two scan reports of good positioning, the doctor, doubting, joined the laboratory officer to do the third test which shocked him. He congratulated us on the result. I was in the hospital for the only time in my life to experience the delivery of my children. I was eager to confirm the efficacy of what the local midwife did. The baby was out in ten minutes of labour. You can appreciate my gain from the services of the alternative medical practitioner.

The problem with our country is that the leadership lacks the courage to think outside the recommendations of the western world. We cannot move forward until we jettison the western-oriented mentality in our medical practices and life generally.

Afie Obarakpor wrote in from Lagos

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