American actor Angelina Jolie is opening up about her daughter Zahara and how her race had an impact on her post-surgery care.
The Maleficent actor interviewed Malone Mukwende, a medical student who is aiming to highlight how several diseases and conditions are often neglected or overlooked by doctors in their non-white patients.
The 21-year-old future doctor began his project after he found that “almost all the images and data used in its teaching were based on studies of white patients” which can result in “misdiagnosis, suffering and even death,” writes Jolie in her recent article for Time.
“I have children from different backgrounds, and I know when there was a rash that everybody got, it looked drastically different depending on their skin color. But whenever I looked at medical charts, the reference point was always white skin,” explains Jolie.
She went on to recall how her eldest adopted daughter Zahara, who has African roots, had surgery last year.
“Recently my daughter, Zahara, whom I adopted from Ethiopia, had surgery, and afterward a nurse told me to call them if her skin ‘turned pink,'” said the actor.
Mukwende went on to say that what Jolie just recalled was “the kind of thing I started to notice very early on.”
“Almost the entirety of medicine is taught in that way. There’s a language and a culture that exists in the medical profession, because it’s been done for so many years and because we are still doing it so many years later it doesn’t seem like it’s a problem,” he said.
“However, like you’ve just illustrated, that’s a very problematic statement for some groups of the population because it’s just not going to happen in that way and if you’re unaware you probably won’t call the doctor,” he added.