The Contribution of Indigenous Health Care Providers to Health Care Delivery in Rural Ghana: An Exploratory Study of Bongo District
Science Journal of Public Health
Volume 3, Issue 1-1, January 2015, Pages: 20-28
Received: May 14, 2014; Accepted: Jun. 3, 2014; Published: Jun. 14, 2014
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Author
Philip Aniah, Department Of Development Studies, Faculty of Integrated Development Studies, University for Development Studies, Wa, Upper West Region, Ghana
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Abstract
Ghanaians have been using indigenous medicine since time immemorial where 80% have reported its utilization. It is claimed to be easily accessible, affordable, available and acceptable; but the contributions of indigenous heal care providers have not been documented. Most of the studies conducted so far are focused on perceptions of people on traditional medicine. The study presents descriptive data from fieldwork carried out on fifteen indigenous healers and 100 patients in the Bongo District of Ghana to ascertain the health seeking behavior of patients and the reasons for visiting indigenous healers. The study shows that indigenous/traditional healers contribute significantly to public health care in Ghana. Fifty four percent (54%) of patients interviewed resorted to traditional medicine as their first choice when they face health problems. The reasons for preferring traditional medicine were efficacy, dissatisfaction with modern medicine, and cost. Traditional healers complained of lack of cooperation with modern health professionals. Community members need to be sensitized on the proper treatment for diseases and on the dangers of taking traditional medicine. This study suggests further exploration of key reasons behind high levels of satisfaction and utilization of traditional medicine.
Keywords
Indigenous Medicine and Healers, Health Seeking Behavior, Public Health, Bongo District, Ghana
To cite this article
Philip Aniah, The Contribution of Indigenous Health Care Providers to Health Care Delivery in Rural Ghana: An Exploratory Study of Bongo District, Science Journal of Public Health. Special Issue: Health Behavior and Public Health. Vol. 3, No. 1-1, 2015, pp. 20-28. doi: 10.11648/j.sjph.s.2015030101.14
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