Ogbanje or abiku is an infant traditional medical condition that causes a child to always die before puberty causing the parents grief, it is believed traditionally to be a child plagued with the spirit that makes him die before reaching puberty and continues repeating this cycle to cause the parents grief.
It is believed that a male ogbanje usually preferred coming in families that had no male issue so that he will be pampered and at the appointed time he dies and leaves the family decimated, same with female ones. They continued repeating this cycle because they were born to die or born to go.
- Sickle cell ogbanje
- Spiritual ogbanje
Below are the possible symptoms in a child
- If the child always falls sick
- If the child despises work
- If he loves to be pampered
- If he always looks malnourished
- If he has big head, big stomach and tiny legs
Diagnoses and cure
- The first step in diagnosing it is taking a blood test to determine the childs genotype, if he is SS genotype (sickle cell) then he is an ogbanje. Research has shown that 90% cases of it were children with sickle cell anemia. The child should immediately start receiving treatment for sickle cell anemia so that he would live and not die.
The exception to sickle cell related ogbanje is the spiritual related one. Its diagnoses are done by local ogbanje specialists. The specialist has to inspect the child before diagnosing him or her. In igbo if a child is diagnosed, sacrifices are performed by the specialist. The mother of the child will get those sacrificing materials, and then the specialist offers the sacrifice on an ant hill, after the sacrifice the specialist asks the ogbanje to show him where the ogbanje stone was buried.
The stone represents there born to die power and it is responsible for the period of time the child spends on earth, initially the stone is buried deep and as time passes the stone continues to rise gradually to the surface of the earth, any day it hits the surface the child dies. If the child refuses to show where the stone was buried then specialist uses professional mastery to locate the stone. Once this stone is located and impounded the child seizes to be an ogbanje.
In diagnosing and curing it one should bear in mind that the first step to take is doing a blood test to discover the childs genotype. If after the blood test sickle cell is not found then it is the spiritually related. Spiritual ogbanje can be cured by men of God like prophet T.B Joshua or through local specialists