Integration of traditional and alternative medicine into routine health care delivery system in the Kumasi Metropolis of Ashanti Region, Ghana

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Introduction Traditional and alternative medicine development in Ghana has undergone a lot of transformation despite its challenges. Currently, the significance and integration of traditional and alternative medicine into routine healthcare delivery cannot be underestimated within the healthcare industry in Ghana. Therefore, the need to explore lessons learnt from the integration of TAM into routine health care delivery system in Kumasi Metropolis, Ashanti Region, Ghana. Methods The study was qualitative using exploratory cross-sectional study design to measure views and experience of TAM integration, challenges of TAM and suggestion to overcome challenges. The data were collected from 20 Providers and 30 Clients using a semi-structured interview guide. The data were analyzed thematically facilitated by manual analysis. Results The providers and clients were of the view that, the gap between allopathic and Herbal medicine practice should be bridged to enhance easy access to healthcare. They were of the view that herbal medicines should be listed onto the NHIS Scheme for healthcare delivery. Majority of providers and clients indicated that resource constraints, inadequate manpower development and sensitization were major challenges with the integration of TAM into routine healthcare delivery system. Most of the providers and clients suggested that adequate resources for the herbal units of the hospitals, sensitization of the public as well as healthy collaboration between herbal practitioners and orthodox medical practitioners as practical ways of addressing challenges confronting TAM integration.ix Conclusion The study unraveled several benefits with integration of TAM into routine healthcare delivery. However, resource constraints and inadequate collaboration between herbal and orthodox practitioners were identified as critical impediments to TAM integration into routine healthcare delivery system. The study therefore recommended that government and all other relevant stakeholders should provide adequate resources (human and material) for the herbal units, effective sensitization and education on the use of herbal medicine and efforts to bridge the gap between orthodox and herbal medicine.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Health Policy, Management and Economics, College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Public Health Degree in Health Services Planning and Management.
Traditional and alternate medicine, Routine health care delivery system, Kumasi metropolis, Ashanti region, Ghana