A Guinean woman who sold herbs and potions to sterile women for them to become pregnant has been jailed for five years, the BBC reports.
The traditional healer, N’na Fanta Camara is said to have tricked more than 700 women while charging them large sums for the treatment by giving them concoctions she had prepared that made these women’s bellies to swell.
The victims, aged between 17 and 45, would pay $33 for her services with police believing she made thousands of dollars a month.
Some of the women reported looking pregnant for between 12 and 18 months.
The victims who were at the court during the sentencing were upset that she did not get a harsher sentence.
“We won but I am not satisfied with this victory,” one victim, Fatou Seck, told the BBC outside court.
“And what has angered us the most is that as soon as the judge pronounced her sentence, N’na Fanta responded by thanking God. She is happy over the misfortune she brought us.”
Camara was found guilty of fraud and impersonating a doctor by giving the women harmful substances and endangering their lives. She was also ordered to pay $165,000 in compensation. Her other two accomplices were convicted of similar charges and sentenced to three years and four years in prison.
According to victim’s lawyer Seny Kamano, Camara had received the maximum possible sentence but argued that the level of compensation was “insufficient” for the more than 700 women affected.
47 of the affected women who had been examined by a police doctor at that time are said to be at risk of long-term complications from the treatment.
The use of traditional medicine is common in Guinea and many other parts of Africa and Camara has defended herself saying: “I work very hard to help [the women] realise their dream, but the rest is in the hands of God.”
The World Health Organisation in 2006 said that 80% of Africans used traditional medical treatments.