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Can obeah cause my son to get ill?


Dear Doc,

My son was a very athletic person all his life. He was on the football and cricket team and many said he would make it to the national side in both. He was muscular and fit, without a blemish. The neighbour accused him of stealing and since that, he has lost weight, bleeds easily through his skin if knocked, complains of pains to his bones and has a cold for weeks. I think it is obeah they work on him, but more we pray, the more he gets worse. What else?{{more}}


Dear Maureen,

I am very sorry to hear about the health of your son. It could be a matter of coincidence your son’s illness and the accusations are in synchrony. obeah or no obeah, your son seems very ill. I will not doubt the power of faith and prayer, but you must get a medical evaluation of your son.

What you are describing has a strong resemblance to someone who is experiencing the symptoms of leukemia. Leukemia is a condition that affects the cells of the bone marrow.

Our blood is not just red liquid. It is composed of red cells that transport oxygen, white cells that fight infection, platelets that make the blood clot and a liquid with salts the substance from the food we eat. The cells and the platelets all drive from cells in the bone and this is a continual process throughout life until death.

Leukemia is the condition whereby the new cells that are made are out of control. This happens at the level of the genes, in that the process that is responsible for making different cells has been disrupted, resulting in stoppage of certain cells and/or proliferation of others. What this means is that a person who does not make enough platelets will bleed easily or a person who does not make enough red cells would become anaemic and likewise a person who cannot make white cells, or a certain kind of white cells, can suffer from the ability to fight certain infections. The increase in the production of new cells is responsible for the bone pains.

The condition is named based on the cells which are affected and different categories of leukemia have different prognoses (outcomes) based on the cells that proliferate.


SVG Cancer Society,

P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.