AfricaNow! September 20, 2017
Topics: African Roots of Medicine & Health Care for All in Cuba
Topics and Guests: Today we focus our attention on medicine and health care. We begin with a topic that is not discussed nearly enough that is medicine and its African roots. Joining AfricaNow! to briefly illuminate this issue is Dr. Charles Finch. Dr. Charles S. Finch was until June 30, 2007, Director of International Health at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Finch joined the Department of Family Medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine in 1982 and then the Office of International Health in 1989, eventually becoming the principal investigator of a traditional healer survey among the Serer people of Senegal, 1991-1992; and led three additional traditional healer projects in Senegal, ending October,1995. Between 1992 - 1995, he led groups to traditional healing ceremonies in Senegal. Dr. Finch has conducted independent studies in African antiquities, comparative religion, anthropology, and ancient science since 1971. Since 1982, he has published more than a dozen articles, including “The African Background of Medical Science” and “Science and Symbol in Egyptian Medicine.” A collection of Dr. Finch's essays, The African Background to Medical Science, was published by Karnak House (London) in November 1990. His books include Echoes of the Old Dark Land (1991) and The Star of Deep Beginnings: Genesis of African Science & Technology, (1998). Dr. Finch has lectured numerous times in the U.S., Senegal, England, Switzerland, Guatemala, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, and Egypt on diverse topics. Dr. Finch has led seven study tours to Egypt since 1989 and traveled to Africa extensively. He was a co-organizer of Coumba Lamba USA, an 8-day African healing ceremony on St. Helena Island, South Carolina in 1996.
Affordable, accessible health care in the U.S. is still a dream. But in Cuba this a reality—a country with much less resources—health care is considered a human right in Cuba, free for all. The tremendous strides Cuba has made in the medical field since the 1959 revolution have not been limited to the island but the country has shared it success with the globe: countless doctors from under-served communities around the world have be trained in Cuba for free; the country has often been first on scene to offer medical assistance during times of crisis such as the Ebola outbreak in 2014 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. These achievements are very significant but are constantly threatened by the over 50-year U.S. economic blockade. Recently Cuban and U.S. health care professionals discussed the consequences of the blockade on Cuban and U.S. citizens. The participants were part of the Days of Action Against the Blockade presented by International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity of the Peoples, September 11 – 16, 2017, Washington DC. Other initial endorsers of the Days of Action include Global Health Partners, Health over Profit for Everyone (HOPE), Health Care Revolution, (Student organization at Georgetown University) Institute for Policy Studies, IFCO/Pastors for Peace, Clínica Martin-Baro, Labor Campaign for Single Payer. AfricaNow! presents part of conversation which took place at Howard University Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center. The section features: Dr. Jesús de los Santos Renó Céspedes, Head of Pediatrics at the National Institute of Oncology and Radiology in Havana, Cuba and is a professor, researcher and specialist in Pediatric Oncology; U.S. Dr. Mercedes Charles, graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Cuba, 2017; and U.S. Dr. Abraham Vela, graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Cuba, 2016. First here is Dr. Abraham Vela.
Click here to listen to AfricaNow! of September 20, 2017 African Roots of Medicine & Health Care for All in Cuba.
Originally broadcast on WPFW 89.3FM, Washington, DC. Tune into AfricaNow! live on WPFW 89.3 FM in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area or visit www.wpfwfm.org on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00PM (Eastern).