As many as 80% of Africans rely on indigenous remedies because of thier relative afforabilty. Vaccine apartheid is only the latest illustration of global inequality in access to Western medicine. At the same time indigenous plants and herbs are being patented and extracted by Western companies with the means to do so, and few local people are provided with the resources to scale up and add value to indigenous health care systems that are often more holistic, offering cultural and cosmological approaches to well-being.T his session shall showcase African herbal medicine as pursued by the Kwame Oku Ampofo Foundation and Prometra, situating its significance within a Western medical system that is dominated by pharmaceutical corporations that garner huge profits, and remain unaffordable to most Africans.
Pregnant women of African descent in the U.S., Caribbean and Africa are caught between malign neglect and coercion; routinely denied access to affordable and culturally competent prenatal care, and simultaneously subjected to state coercion and unwanted medical interventions. As a result, Black women globally are more likely to die of pregnancy related causes than white women, and our infants also face high preventable mortality rates. In the West, Black pregnant people and mamas also face numerous systemic barriers to our autonomy, including forced separations by the prison, immigration and foster/adoption systems. Across the globe, traditional Birthworkers and birth justice advocates are working to liberate birth, heal trauma and save lives. This panel will share highlights of their activism and explore the possibility of building a Pan-African birth justice movement.
Winnie Byanyima was the youngest most forward looking of Uganda’s MP’s and was popularly elected three times in succession, before she became a public civil servant, first at the African Union, and later within the UN system. As a survivor and witness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, her appointment as Head of UNAIDS prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic saw her well placed to initiate the People’s Vaccine Campaign, and bear witness to Global Vaccine Apartheid, and the free-racketeering of private corporations, some of which have garnered trillions of dollars, while less than 2% of AFricans have been able to get vaccinated.