In the African traditional society, sickness is dealt with in various ways. Here are the ways in which sickness is addressed:
- Herbal Medicine: Traditional healers use a combination of various herbs and plants to create remedies to treat illnesses. These herbal medicines are believed to have healing properties and are administered to the sick individual.
- Rituals and Ceremonies: Traditional African societies believe that sickness can be caused by spiritual or supernatural factors. Therefore, rituals and ceremonies are performed to appease the spirits or ancestors and seek their intervention in healing the sick person.
- Divination: Traditional healers may use divination techniques such as throwing bones, reading the stars, or consulting oracles to diagnose the cause of the illness. This helps them determine the appropriate treatment or intervention needed for the sick individual.
- Spiritual Healing: Traditional healers may also perform spiritual healing practices such as prayers, incantations, or invoking the assistance of spirits or ancestors to restore the health of the sick person. These practices aim to address the spiritual aspect of the illness.
- Cleansing and Purification: Traditional African societies believe that illness can be caused by impurities or negative energies. Therefore, rituals or ceremonies involving cleansing and purification are conducted to rid the individual of these impurities and restore balance and health.
- Community Support: In African traditional societies, the community plays a significant role in dealing with sickness. The community comes together to provide support, care, and assistance to the sick person and their family. This includes offering emotional support, helping with daily tasks, and providing resources and remedies.
- Traditional Practices and Beliefs: Traditional African societies have certain practices and beliefs regarding sickness and healing. These may include wearing protective charms or amulets, observing dietary restrictions, or following specific rituals for prevention and healing.
It is important to note that while these practices are still prevalent in some African communities, modern medicine has also been integrated into the healthcare systems of many African countries.