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Folha de Maputo (Fie photo) / The healer said that she was protecting the integrity of the calabashes she uses in her work.
The Mozambique Association of Traditional Doctors (AMETRAMO) in Inhambane has expressed outrage at the behaviour of a member who kept a pregnant woman confined in her house until she died to weeks ago in the city’s Muelé neighbourhood.
After the patient lost her life, the healer removed the body from her house and abandoned it in the open. She covered the body with a mosquito net and a dress cloth.
According to the Diário de Moçambique newspaper, Hortência Alexandre had persuaded the victim to forego hospital treatment for her stomach pains on the grounds that it would be ineffective.
Once in the healer’s house, the woman’s condition worsened. Her relatives tried without success to rescue her from the healer’s control. The 35-year-old mother of three lost her life a few days later.
Faced with the situation, the healer dragged the body to the vicinity of a dump in Inhambane city’s Muelé neighbourhood at night.
Asked later about her reasons for doing so, the healer said that she was protecting the integrity of the calabashes [cabaças] she uses in her work.
“A dead person is not allowed to remain inside the house. If that happens, the relatives have to pay for a costly ceremony to purify the house, including my work instruments,” she explained.
Sources contacted by Diário de Moçambique say the case is being investigated by the Inhambane police.
The number of deaths of people attributed to poor behaviour by some traditional doctors has multiplied in Inhambane recently.
Police have expressed concern, saying that some healers cite people as sorcerers during consultations, and that this leads to sometimes-fatal conflict.
“The healer should stick to the diagnosis and cure of disease, and not name people as sorcerers,” Inhambane provincial police command spokesman Simão Machava said.Source: Diário de Moçambique