Friday, September 11, 2015

African Witchcraft Victims Treated After Limbs Were Cut Off | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Kabula Nkarango Masanja returned home to Tanzania with a new American prosthetic arm replacing the limb that was chopped off with a machete by followers of African witchcraft.

She's one of Tanzania's children with albinism, a condition that leaves people with little or no pigment in their skin, hair or eyes. Their severed body parts are used in potions witch doctors believe bring wealth and good luck. The soft-spoken 17-year-old Kabula is now one of the lucky ones.

Doctors at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia recently created new artificial limbs for Kabula and four other youngsters. And New York City resident Elissa Montanti provided housing about two hours away in the borough of Staten Island and organized all their daily, medical and travel needs.
Lacking natural pigmentation, people with albinism look almost white - ghosts of departed humans, according to witch doctors who order body parts to be hacked off: hair, nails, teeth, tongues, hands, feet, even genitals. More than 200 witch doctors have been arrested so far in the killings of Tanzanians with albinism. The government outlawed witch doctors last year.

Still, attacks continue; at least eight were recorded in Tanzania in the past year.

There's another, even more cruel twist.

Some parents are collaborators because "they still believe their children are cursed," says Ester Rwela, a social worker who accompanies the children and translates their Swahili language.

African Witchcraft Victims Treated After Limbs Were Cut Off | NBC 10 Philadelphia

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