“The most impressive of these [surgeries] is a Cesarean operation performed by Banyoro surgeons in East Africa. It was witnessed and sketched by Dr. Felkin in 1879, at a time when such operations were rare in Europe. The skill demonstrated in this operation startled readers of the Edinburgh Medical Journal where it was reported. The Africans were not only found to be doing the Cesarean section with routine skill but to be using antiseptic surgery, which Lister pioneered only two years earlier than this event, and when the universal application of his methods in the operating rooms of Europe were still years away. Not only did the African surgeon show an understanding of the sophisticated concepts of anesthesia and antisepsis, says Dr. Finch, but he demonstrated advanced surgical technique, especially in his cautious use of the cautery iron, which without great skill can cause serious tissue damage. As one commentator has said: ‘This was a skilled long-practiced surgical team at work conducting a well-tried and familiar operation with smooth efficiency and unhurried skill…Lister’s team in London could hardly have performed with greater smoothness.'”

DrFelkinsketchofafricancesarean1879

Source: Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. Blacks In Science: Ancient and Modern. pg. 23-24. 1983; Image obtained from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/cesarean/part2.html.

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