This young lady is not pregnant, although she is desperate to bear a child. In Angolan culture having children is not only a means to security in older ago, but also a measure of one’s femininity or masculinity. In her anguish to become pregnant she approached a traditional healer who administered a concoction of roots and leaves boiled into a tea. Within days of consuming the substance her eyes became yellow, she began to vomit unceasingly Her abdomen swelled. When I saw her, three months later, she is suffering from chronic liver failure with ascites.
We have few answers to the challenges this case presents. A few of the questions we’re asking are: