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Title: Centre for Traditional and Herbal Medicine
Authors: Dwamena, Robert Akowuah
Issue Date: 19-Feb-1998
Series/Report no.: 2477;
Abstract: The science and the art of treatment and prevention of disease is pre-historic, since his earliest days man has relied on natural products for the sustenance of life. Ancient man had little or no knowledge of medical values of natural products, and discovered them by trial and error or by accident or observation of the instinctive discrimination of plants by animals. The knowledge so acquire was tried and when founded successful formalised. Into traditional medicine, such findings were repeatedly used over centuries and resulted in the accumulation of a stored of information, on the medical values of herbs and thus laid down some foundation upon which modem medicine was built. Presently traditional healers in West Africa have claimed success in the treatment of burulli diseases including breast cancer skin disorder diabetes sickle cell anaemia. Venereal diseases and some forms of mental diseases. As a result of these claim developing herbal medicine has become a topic for discussion on various Africa countries including West Africa countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and sierra- Leone. There are good economic and social reasons in favour of the development of herbal medicine. i. It can be cheap about 80% of the people in the developing countries rely heavily on traditional medicine as the source of primary Health care (P.H.C). ii. It is locally available, it was realise that traditional medicine had the potential of greatly cutting down the amount of money the developing countries use on importing drugs. iii. It is culturally acceptable to the majority of our people, traditional Medicine is therefore popular in the African scene and it cannot be joked or toyed with. PROBLEM: In Ghana as in most West African countries, traditional medicine continues to play a valuable role in the heath needs of the people especially in the rural areas and in the treatment of certain diseases which western medicine has proved to be incurable or ineffective. However this method of healing is in the hands of illiterate’s herbalist who practice in an empirical and unhygienic condition yet with much success. Some of the problem associated with herbal medicine includes the following: -The fact the Ghanaian traditional healer has no knowledge of human physiology anatomy and biochemistry. Coupled with his lack of appropriate diagnostic tool raise the doubts about his ability to diagnose disease correctly. -A number of traditional medical practitioners attribute the causes of diseases to super natural factors and make very little or no attempt to differentiate between illness of the physical types and, that of psychological origin physiology in traditional medicine is unsatisfactory most often there are no standard weight and measures. The traditional healer used various containers like calabash and bowel of different size for enemas with no standard volumes. - They also attribute certain unexplained use of medical plant to magico - religious concept, which conflict greatly with the concept of modem medicine. - Finally improperly organised method of collection preparation, and storage of herbal medicine. CONSIDERATION From the aforementioned point it is very easy to conclude the inability and difficulty in mafring traditional medicine to the modern Orthodox medicine. However despite the draw backs and, great studies that traditional medicine has made it has played and continue to play a great role in the health needs of the our rural people. Orthodox treatment centres are located in the urban areas making them inaccessible to the vast majority of the population estimated, between 70% and 80% who live in the rural areas. These people have to resort to alternative centres for their medical care. It was in pursuance on these that, Dr Kwarne Sarpong, Head of the pharmcognosy Department Faculty of U.S.T Kumasi. In his script orthodox and traditional medicine marriage for the future, come out with the following recommendation. which includes a. That there must be a massive Dublic education on the positive aspect of traditional medicine. b. Herbal preparation with pro; en eftica.v should be standardise and their quality control and toxicological stues made and formulate into suitable dosage forms c. That such preparation should be introduce into our hospitals and community pharmacies. d. That the centre for Research into plant medicine at Mampong should be given encouragement by the government private organisations and individuals, and its activities most expanded to cover most parts of the country by setting up smaller centre in selected parts of the country. e. That a herbal pharmacology should be developed and medical plant farms most be established, to cultivate herbs with proven medical properties. The question that we most poses our self is that should traditional medicine be remain in its age-long condition? Should the Government continue to spent huge sums of foreign exchange on drugs of which close and effective institution could be produce locally with indigenous material? The conclusion to these questions is that traditional medicine should not be left in the doldrums. Kumasi has about 5073 member within the Ghana psychic traditional healers association, with about 176 rendering clinical services to the masses. This exclude those in Ghana herbal medical practitioners association in Kumasi, which also have a membership of over 3000 with some of its members operating well efficient clinical service to the people. Example Dr Asiarnah and Dr Ahmed Kweku Owusu of Akobam clinic not forgetting many others who have set up small scale indigenous pharmaceutical industries to produce herbal medicine example Nobi Cream, Madam Catherine. Recently in Ghana traditional healers have claim the ability to handles all types of ailment ranging from simple wounds to tumours Example In obstetrics and gynaecology herbs have been use to promote healthy growth of the foetus and to prevent miscarriage in pregnancy, such vitaminised plant like Fluerya destuans (urticacca) and piper unbellatin (piperaceau) and cocoyam leaves are given weekly in palm-soup preparation. Post mortem haemorrhage is often dealt with successfully by giving the patience a concoction of the leave of pondias mounbin (Anacandiaceac) or Hoslandia oopposin (Labiatae) or the bark of Erythrirna mibreadii (papilionaceac) prepared palm soup. The neo-herbalist in the city treats ailments that are not among the most prevent health problem, - most of the cases treated are persistent problem for which his patience could not find cure form modem medicine. The neo-herbalist in the cities has become a second choice compensation for failing modem treatment. Example there have been claim of treatment of diabetes and asthma and other bronchial ailment which modem scientific medicine has fail to completely care, out of the 101 person with VHI positive who visited Akobam clinic in 1997 he claim to have cure all with only 10 who died. The centre for Research into plant medicine has confirm certain claim by the therapeutic efficacy of some herbal drugs by certain herbalist which represent the most practical way of inter marrying orthodox medicine and traditional medicine. CONCLUSION: Mention is due here to be made by Prof. D. Dwuma-Badu, head of department of pharmaceutical chemistry. Who during their celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the pharmaceutical society of Ghana in Nov.1985, in his script title “Some studies of the constituents of West Africa medicinal plant, problem progress and potentials” encourage scientist including biochemists doctors, pharmacologist, to scientifically investigate some of these herbal preparation that may be fond efficacious and to device on the suitable formulation and suitable dosage form, preservation toxicity and possible. The active ingredients present in herbal preparation to facilitate the marriage between the orthodox and herbal medicines that is above are clear manifestation that there are real value in traditional medicine which when blend with modern methods can be a boom to mankind, thus the need for its development to a general acceptable standard. SCOPE: In pursuance of the above problem this thesis will set out to look into the general concept of herbalist conduct research into the practice of traditional medicine in Ghana, with the objective of exploring the problem that hinder its progress: bringing out its advantage in the modern, science order to maximise a useful and effective practice and discourage harmfulness.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture, 1998
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2961
Appears in Collections:College of Architecture and Planning

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