A Historical Study of the Impact of Colonial Rule on Indigenous Medical Practices in Ashanti: A Focus on Colonial and Indigenous Disease Combat and Prevention Strategies in Kumasi, 1902-1957

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The study addresses the question of lack of in-depth study of the history of medicine in Asante and Kumase specifically. The study is an attempt to fill this lacuna. It examines the influence of the Colonial Administration on indigenous medical practices in Asante and Kumase as well as a focus on Colonial and Indigenous diseases combative and preventive strategies in Kumase. The study traces how indigenous medical practices have continued to be in existence from the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century Asante. It accesses untapped information that deals with the operations of indigenous healers in Kumase and its environs as well as colonial influence. One of the noted influences include the permission granted the Asante Confederacy Council by the Colonial Administration to register indigenous physicians who were known to be genuine. Attestation mostly came from chiefs or native heads whose jurisdictions the practitioners practised and usually it had to be assented to by the Nsumankwaafieso. The closure of witch-finding shrines in Asante and Kumase specifically is one of the noticeable colonial influences. Significantly, there was the development and adoption of some modern techniques and practices in indigenous medical practices and the cessation of such practices as witch finding which was considered injurious to humans by the standards of the Colonial Administration. It also studies the impact made by the Colonial Administration among other things, the registration of unqualified midwives in Kumase and the establishment of Child Welfare Clinic in Kumase and its consequences for the people of Asante. The study highlights the contribution of the Colonial Administration in curing of diseases as well as disease prevention and health promotion in Asante. The information gleaned from various archival sources and interviews threw light on how the Colonial Administration used legislation to influence the way of life of the people of Asante from 1902 to 1957 to ensure that disease transfer was hampered and health promotion effected. The consequences of such colonial influence are carefully documented.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of History and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi In partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, HISTORICAL STUDIES,