A visit to the bone healer

Woe Travel Blog

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I got a chance to go to the other CCS site in Woe to spend a day with a traditional bone healer. The two hour drive to Woe was nothing compared to the 15 hours to Mole, so we go to the fly-infested, sandy beaches of the Woe house in no time. After spending the night in supposed bed bug-infested beds in a room beside the chickens and roosters, another volunteer, Julia, a translator named Promise, and I headed to see the bone healer. We were given strict instructions to be ready at 7:30am to get there at 8am, in order to see a whole day. In usual Ghana fashion, we pull out at 10 after 8.

Most patients go to the bone healer after going to the hospital hasn't helped. Either the bone hasn't been set properly or there was nothing they could do.
They see the old woman, who treated the bones by setting them then applying different herbs for healing. If the bone isn't healed the next time they come, 'dirty blood' is drawn out by making cuts with a razor in swollen places and using a lighted match in a jar against the skin to draw out the blood. The whole process was very interesting, although a bit creepy.

People are coming in one after the other to be treated. The bone healer works every day from 7-12 and sees each patient every 2 or 3 days. The woman herself is very animated when she talked, not that we knew what she was saying. Apparently she goes on and on, saying the same things over again about all the places she's gone and all the people she's treated. She went through some of the x-rays of patients and was able to talk about all the patients she's had over 20 years. It was a really interesting experience and I hope to go back again before I leave.
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photo by: silan