OpEd, Politics

Better Spend Money to Treat the Sick Rather than on Funeral occasions

By: Joseph Akim Gordon

Nowadays cases of deaths have multiplied, there are now few cases of festival like marriages, and other happy occasions, as such death is blind, many families are visited by cases of death many times. We are in a situation that when a relative becomes sick it is better spend money to save his/her life. We are fond to taking a sick person to a witchdoctors, the witchdoctors are very smart first of all he will ask you to narrate your relationship with the family or outside the family and he did explain some body whom you do not have good relationship, the witchdoctor will tell you that your case is simple, it is the very person intends to kill you is better you come in time before I save you I need a black goat and a white Coc with some money  if you can avail it soon I will be able to save you. You return home and the next day you present his demand and after that he present you with herbal and  some magical action on your body and do not association that person who intended to kill you return home with hope that  you got heel already , but after few days the sickness worsened and many advised the sick to be taken to hospital for further treatment because already the health was worsening and the money available was paid to witch doctor with no good result but the relatives demanded contribution so that the sick is rushed to hospital eventually  he died of his disease .

The case of the death spread like wild fire to most relatives so enough money was collected, so the funeral was well attended lots of contribution people spend one-week traditional dance plenty of food and drink were all available and the wife was crying that if this contribution was availed during the sickness perhaps her husband would not have died. It is a common practice all over South Sudan when one is sick it is the responsibility of the immediate family members perhaps few others including in-laws.

The funeral rite in South Sudan is very expensive, despite the fact that you have lost the loved one also financial  burden the family bear a lot of responsibility , the funeral rite last 3-4 days for women and men respectively  , but this gradually changing in Yei and other places when a person dies this morning he is buried immediately, after burial elders sit discuss the cause of the death and provide  some recommendations to the widower, children and uncles and the last memorial prayer is held and there after people disperse , this minimizes the cost of keeping large number people which is very expensive, this development is now wide spread to minimize the cost of funeral . It is worth to note that witchdoctor has no ability to treat some illness, he creates  hatred because he can alleged that the sickness is caused because the family did not provide part of dowry paid to your daughter so you must bring this and that and the magic that he performed has nothing to do with family relationship, the priority should be to quickly rush the sick to hospital when proper diagnosis is conducted and thereby a proper medication  is delivered, I do not dismiss the herbal medicines some are very effective that can cure some illness, the problem is that  the quantity is required  and the dosage some time the problem might be overdosage that can cause some complication in the body system.

The other concern is that why do we respond quickly for a case of funeral rite and we are even prepared to borrow money for the funeral,  if we are very much concerned for a sick person would have save life, but when person is sick why do we rush to a witch doctor, and going to hospital when  the sick is desperate then we think about hospital, we have contributed for the death of the sick person if we had rushed first to hospital perhaps the sick would have survived.

It is worth to contribute more money to save the life of the sick person, perhaps the contribution we make because we take tea, coffee, food and beer and alcoholic drinks and a lot of entertainment sometime last for one week that is why we contribute more for funeral and less for sick person.

The author can be reached through e-mail: akimgordon222@gmail.com

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