Kalapara people still believe in shaman’s exorcism
KALAPARA, PATUAKHALI, May 23: The people of Kalapara Upazila in the district still believe in shaman's exorcism for treating their patients.
The Tulatoli 20-Bed Hospital in Kuakata is 10 kilometres away from Khajura Village. They don't go to the hospital and do their pregnant women's delivery by unskilled midwives.
Their superstitious beliefs are causing deaths to their newborn children.
The correspondent found that they use amulets when they fall ill.
At least 60 families of Adarsha Village in Kuakata got shelter at British Red Crescent Village of Khajura when they were affected by cyclone Sidr. Although they got the shelter, there is no sanitation facility in the shelter.
The primary school is two to three km away; hence, their children do not get primary education. Child marriage is a regular scenario here. The number of young mothers, financial crisis, abandoned wives and divorcees are rising in the village.
Due to their superstitious belief and religious fanaticism, they are neglected despite being the dwellers of Kuakata Municipality.
Some housewives said many of their children died due to lack of proper treatment although they were born in good health. The villagers believe that the children died because of evil spell.
Taslima Begum said she had her delivery of twin babies at the hand of an unskilled midwife. After a few hours, her one son fell ill. She wanted to take him to doctor but the villagers called a shaman instead of allowing her to go to doctor. The shaman exorcised the baby for a few hours but could not save him. After a while another baby also fell ill. The shaman again exorcised her but could not save her. This is how she lost her both children.
Villagers said due to financial crisis and transportation problems, many families cannot go to doctor despite their eagerness.
They demanded for setting up community clinic at their village and develop the communication system. This is how they could save the villagers.
Kuakata Municipality Mayor A Barek Molla said there is a hospital in the municipality but there is crisis of doctors. After setting up the hospital, doctors stayed here for the first six months, but later they became irregular.
So, the villagers don't want to go to the hospital in emergency situation. They are compelled to take treatment from shaman and midwives.
Medical Officer of Tulatoli Hospital Dr Arifur Rahman said there are shortages of manpower and equipments. He is the only doctor at the hospital.
He further said, despite their will, they cannot provide the patients with proper treatment for lack of sufficient facilities.