Visiting Fulbright scholar gives lecture

On Monday in the College Union Ballroom, Fulbright scholar Eva Tagoe-Darko delivered a lecture titled, "The Healing Brass Bowl: Traditional Teachings and Practices for Child Health Care in Ghana."

The lecture illustrated the importance of traditional medicine in Ghana and the value of teaching children proper health and social behaviors. "I believe health is physical, spiritual and communal," Tagoe-Darko said. "It is a holistic program. It is not just about me."

Tagoe-Darko explained that matriarchal women in Ghana are expected to care for children by nurturing them, maintaining their hygiene and taking responsibility for much of their prenatal care. "The older women have license to tell you how it is without apology," she said.

"Women giving birth at home are much more relaxed," Tagoe-Darko said, highlighting the advantages of giving birth at home instead of hospital. She closed her lecture by emphasizing her preference for traditional over modern health care. A reception for faculty and students followed.

Those in attendance said they found the presentation enlightening and informative.

"I thought it was a real opportunity for students who have a tendency to think only about our own culture to be able to think in broader terms," said Becky Glass, executive assistant to President Christopher Dahl. "Having taught sociology of family and sociology of gender, I talked a lot about how aspects of traditional approaches to childbirth and child rearing may have more advantages than modern childbirth. Her talk fit right in with those discussions."

"It was very interesting to learn about the different kinds of health care in Ghana and hear her own personal beliefs and experiences with traditional medicine," said sophomore Jaclyn Williams said.

Tagoe-Darko, a resident of Kumasi, Ghana, is a visiting professor through the spring semester. She is currently the vice president of the Ghana Geographical Organization. The departments of geography, black studies, anthropology, environmental studies, women's studies, urban studies, the Office of International Programs and the Office of the Provost, supported the lecture.