A book entitled “Traditional Medicine in Ghana” has been launched in Accra.
The 193-page book, authored by Kofi Bobi Barimah and Mr Okyere Bonna, was formally launched on behalf of President John Agyekum Kufuor by Mr Kwadwo Okyere Mpianim, a former Chief of Staff.
In this book, Dr Barimah and Mr Bonna examined the practice, problems and prospects of traditional medicine in Ghana with a focus on the best practices on traditional health systems and policy around the globe.
The experiences of the authors in advocating the inclusion of traditional medicine in the mainstreams Ghanaian health care system are also highlighted in the book.
The authors examined the impact of colonialism on traditional medicine, the trends and challenges of traditional medicine in Ghana, the etiologies of illnesses in Ghana from both natural and supernatural perspectives by identifying two categories of traditional healers (those who practise with the aid of the supernatural and those who practise without the aid of the supernatural).
Although the book is on Ghana, the authors alluded to traditional medicine in Africa and around the world to buttress the growing demand for alternative and contemporary medicine.
While advocating for integration between modern and traditional medicine to achieve health all Ghanaians, the authors argued that in order to achieve the synergy, both traditional and modern health practitioners must acknowledge their areas of strengths and weaknesses from which they operated and be genuinely concerned about the difficult but necessary task of working together.
Former President Kufuor in a speech read on his behalf lauded Br Barimah and Mr Bonna for coming out with the publication, adding that it would make a meaningful contribution to healthcare delivery in Ghana.
He said the combination of traditional medicine research and information and communication technology (ICT) made the Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) a unique institution.
He said the launch was timely because since 2009, Ghanaians have had access to herbal medicine across 40 government hospitals in the country.
“I am happy to say that the integration of traditional medicine into main stream healthcare delivery in this country started in 2001 during my tenure as the President of the republic,” he said.
“It is worth noting that the importance of the youth in the development of herbal medicine is enforced by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in establishing a Department for the study of herbal medicine, leading to the award of Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Herbal Medicine.”
He noted that the Department, would serve as a Centre to help bridge the gap between indigenous traditional medicine and world recognised standards.
Former President Kufuor commended KNUST for the initiative in herbal medicine and urged the Ministry of Health to set up a National Committee to review the traditional herbal medicine list periodically
This, he said would ensure that only potent and efficacious herbal medicines were disbursed for quality healthcare.
“I believe that this will also result in the elimination of fake medicines in the system.”
Professor Emmanuel Ohene-Afoakwa, Acting President, GTUC, who praised Dr Barimah and Mr Bonna for their publication, also commended them for their huge contributions towards the development of the GTUC.
Nana Kwadwo Obiri, General Secretary, Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Associations, said the book would help eliminate fake herbal medicine in the country.
Dr Barimah, who doubles as the Director of Research and Consultancy, GTUC and Acting Executive Director, Plant Medicine Research, giving an overview of the publication said the book represented a rare and pleasing desire for addressing what appears to be a growing health need in Ghana.
He said the need for the development of traditional medicine in the healthcare delivery system in Ghana could not be overemphasised.
Mr Bonna, who doubles as a staff of the GTUC and also a PhD Candidate at the University of Phoenix said the book would go a long way to provide health education.
“We cannot ignore traditional medicine in the classroom. We are hoping that it becomes a textbook. This work is aimed at educating the youth on the benefits of traditional medicine.”