African Women as Primary Health Caregivers in Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Helon Habila’s Measuring Time
Keywords:traditional resources, oral traditions, healing, health caregivers, women
In various societies, women play significant roles in restoring physical and mental health of patients apart from health providers like physicians and nurses. Although healthcare practices are mainly attributed to men, literary writers have in recent times shown through their productions that the womenfolk equally provide essential services to patients and also employ various strategies to improve health of individuals in society. This paper therefore examines African women as primary health caregivers as portrayed in Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Helon Habila’s Measuring Time. The literary texts are purposively chosen based on their thematic relevance and qualitatively analysed using both descriptive and analytical methods. The study found that African women play major roles in providing healthcare services to family members and sometimes employ oral traditions and herbal medicines to improve health and wellbeing of patients. It argues that African women are more emotional, compassionate and sensitive towards the health condition of patients especially their husbands and children compared to their male counterparts. Some women employ traditional resources such as folktales, herbal medicines, and physical support as psychological techniques of healing in African society. The paper concludes that women complement health providers to address their health problems and improve their psychological wellbeing for the growth and development of society.
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