So, this week, I had a conversation with a Facebook friend (via inbox) in which we disagreed sharply on what development is and is not. He was telling me about the poverty of our communities and about the wealth of the ‘developed’ nations. He was telling me that we need to build hospitals, schools etc. to develop. We discussed a range of issues on this, and continued to disagree and disagree that he ended up saying bye abruptly and that thread has not yet been revisited.
This is the thing. I told my friend that when I was young, and lived in Nyanja, whenever I would knock a stone, I would get the sap of enyabarashana (sere in Luganda, and black jack in English I guess) and apply it to the bleeding toe and the blood would clot immediately. I have told the story of enyabarashana elsewhere actually, so by the time I brought it up with my friend, I was a little disappointed he had not met this story of mine. But do not blame him, I also can’t trace the link now.
See related story here.
But to move on, I asked him if a person who knows about enyabarashana’s power to help his bleeding toe, about the power of ekicuuncu to deal with stomachaches and omubiriizi in dealing with fever is living a healthy life and therefore does not need a hospital. My friend could not take this. There must be hospitals for a country to have a healthy population.
Oh yes, to my friend, health can’t be a lifestyle, I mean nutrition-wise, or can’t be these herbal things like enyabarashana, ekicuuncu and omubirizi. Health is a hospital with doctors, nurses etc. wearing white lab coats and stuff like that. How can patients know the medicine that will heal them? That can’t be medicine. And so, with the so many people in Uganda who live in rural areas, some of whom know herbal solutions to their ailments and therefore do not visit a hospital, they are so poor and living a poor quality of life because they know no health, if they know no hospital.