RELIGION- A HEALING BALM FOR VICTIMS OF PROTRACTED TERMINAL DISEASES IN NIGERIA.
People who live with protracted terminal disease experience stigmatization, abhorrence and hatred from people who once loved them. It is not uncommon also for terminally ill patients to feel insecure, hapless and depressed. The aforesaid supposition is most likely considering the reaction of people in the other divide to others living with protracted disease. In our traditional or contemporary Nigerian society for examples, people who contracted diseases that seem never ending like leprosy, loathsome sore, swollen, stomatch, HIV/AIDS are stigmatized. Some who become hapless and do not think of religious issues die in isolation through complications and other related causes. All these result from the fact that these protracted diseases are connected with the aforesaid phenomena from the patients, either directly or indirectly. However, others who harnessed and activated religion recuperated and got healed. Evidence abound in traditional society, which suggest that religion sustained and was an imperative solution to people living with leprosy, dropsy and other protracted terminal diseases. Through personal interview, and dialectical examination of some written works on some protracted / terminal diseases it was observed that some who lived with these diseases and relied on religion regained their health at the end. Besides, just like those that were presumably healed through religion in our traditional society, people who live with terminal diseases in our contemporary society are consider religion as a viable antidote and therapy. In other words, terminally sick patients especially those living with HIV/AIDS and sickle cell would live positive and meaningful life if they consider religion as an efficacious therapy. Good management of one’s sickness and total healing may be possible if one harnesses religion and its therapeutic tendencies. Viewed from the aforementioned positions and suppositions, it is the trust of this work to examine what actually happens when terminally sick people become irreligious and lose hope in the divine healing power of the invisible reality. It is also designed to instruct and help terminally sick patients to consider activating or re-activating religion in their journey towards recovery.