When people get sick in the jungle, it’s serious business. In fact, they often die.
Missionary Lourens Laureti writes that this grim reality is due not only to the unavailability of medical help, but also to the deeply ingrained animistic trust in spirits and witchcraft that often refuses medical intervention.
As a result of a virus that recently spread through the village, many Mengen people got very sick. One of them was an elderly man, Kosai. Missionaries tried to help him as much as they could, but were limited in what they could do because of the resistance of his fellow clan members. They also tried to convince his family to take Kosai for medical care, to no avail.
Kosai has never been married, so he has no wife or children to take care of him in his old age.