In her presentation, Dr. Williams will explore the advent of faith-based maternity homes in Nigeria since the early 1930s and how they adapted to socio-political and biomedical trends in their search for legitimacy. Various scholars have examined relationships between ethnomedical practitioners, biomedicine, and the state; even fewer have extended this conversation to practices of divine healing in Africa. Notwithstanding, there has been little exploration of religious birthing institutions that increasingly play vital roles as primary maternal healthcare providers. By examining Faith Homes and their socio-political search for legitimacy in colonial and post-colonial Nigeria, Williams reflects on the enduring connections between religion and medicine in Africa.
Ogechukwu Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Department of Medical Humanities at Creighton University, Omaha NE. Her book project examines the intersections between biomedical maternities, traditional midwifery, and faith-based birthing institutions in Nigeria. She is co-author of Writing the Nigeria Biafra War.