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Health expert calls for promotion of naturopathic medicine

Immediate past Director of Healthcare Services-West African Health Organisation, Dr Kofi Busia, has called for the promotion of naturopathic medicine to augment the conventional medicine practice.

According to him, naturopathy is a system of medicine that uses natural remedies such as acupuncture, massage, herbs, nutritional counselling and exercise to help the body heal itself. 

Participants at the lecture

Dr Busia explained that conventional medicine could only manage symptoms of numerous diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancers while naturopathy tackled the entire body and root causes of illnesses.

Dr Busia made the call at a public lecture at the Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicines and Technology on Friday, under the theme: “Promoting Naturopathic Medicines in the Ghanaian Healthcare Space.”

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He stated that given the receptive nature of Ghana’s healthcare system, promoting naturopathy as a complementary alternative medicine would strengthen the healthcare system with diversity, and give patients options whether to be treated purely conventionally or by naturopathic treatment.

Dr Busia called on the authorities to facilitate processes to train Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) and integrate the practice into the healthcare system.

A United States (US) based ND, Dr Tuson Turner, said naturopathy was a holistic approach to medicine that focused on the whole body-mind, body and spirit and could be administered to every individual irrespective of race, belief systems or setting.

The most important thing, according to her, was regulation of the practice to support standardisation and research into a wide spectrum of treatment options.

President of Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicines and Technology, Professor Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, said considering the promotion of modern naturopathic practice in Ghana and Africa, the World Naturopathic Health Federation (WNHF) had recently featured Ghana in its published Health Technology Assessment Book on naturopathy.

He stated that apart from South Africa, Ghana remained the country in Africa promoting evidence-based naturopathy, hence the need to further train NDs and standardise the practice.

Prof. Obu called on the government and policy makers to support the promotion of naturopathy and develop standards to protect the profession.

He said global medical practice had evolved, giving space for the integration of naturopathy into healthcare delivery system.

Prof. Obu said that naturopathy and well trained NDs were not against biomedical practice, but rather a medical system that complemented conventional medical practice.

Prof. Obu said the College sought to help champion the practice of naturopathy in Ghana hence the introduction of the first ever Bachelors degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) national operational standard curriculum for the training of naturopathy practitioners.

He said the plan has been submitted to the Traditional Medicines Practitioners Council (TPMC) of the Ministry of Health for review.

FROM KEN AFEDZI-ASHAIMAN

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