By Aquino De Braganca, Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein

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Extra resources for African Liberation Reader: Documents of the National Liberation Movements :Volume 2 The National Liberation Movements

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183 Despite this, mission doctors were constantly displeased with their assistants, whom they tended to regard as hard to train, lazy in their work, and often guilty of misdemeanours. They felt that such work was not ‘natural’ to natives. 184 Kumwenda describes such tensions between the white medical personnel and their assistants in her chapter in this volume on Northern Rhodesia. The alleged misdemeanours of the assistants included insubordination, shoddy medical work, drunkenness, sexual improprieties with patients and other local women, and the appropriation of medical stores for private gain.

85 The medical missionary was seen to be walking in the path of Christ. In a prize essay written for the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society in 1854, W. Burns Thomson emphasised that Jesus had urged his followers to ‘Heal and Preach’. Healing provided an entry into the hearts and minds of ‘simple 25 David Hardiman people’ who, like children, were often taught best by objective demonstration. 86 Numerous quotations from the four Gospels could be cited to make the point that Jesus himself had sanctioned such work.

108 They were moved by pity – as they saw it – to provide the blessings of Christian civilisation to such women – religious, educational, and medical. A central focus was on converting mothers so that they would influence their children. They would purify their homes, and provide a shining example of Christian values. ’109 The first fully trained woman medical doctor to become a foreign missionary was Clara Swain. 110 Swain’s success silenced the objections of male missionaries, allowing medicine to become the most universally acclaimed aspect of women’s missionary work in the late-nineteenth century.

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