Research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Alternative Medicine, Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, has advocated for the need to study and incorporate evidence in the practice of holistic medicine in the country.
According to him, alternative medicine practice has seen stiff resistance from many medical doctors because of the absence of evidence-based diagnosis and treatment of ailments.
He stressed that introducing evidence-based treatment in the practice with the knowledge that holistic medicine practitioners already possess will offer patients a much more credible healthcare and faith from critics.
Dr. Nyarkotey Obu made the call at the first public lecture on Alternative Medicine at the newly opened Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine at its Ashiaman campus in Tema under the team: Practice, Legality, Economic Impact and Education.
He noted that the world is gradually gravitating towards holistic medicine in the treatment of chronic ailments like cancer and stressed that in countries like India and China in Asia and Germany in Europe, integrated medicine as a form of healthcare has been embraced wholeheartedly.
He argued that in countries where alternative medicine has covered a lot of grounds, most of the practitioners are also qualified medical doctors who are familiar with the use of modern technology in holistic medicine to treat patients and added, “About 50% of doctors in the United States also practice Alternative Medicine.”
Dr. Nyarkotey Obu stated that unlike in Ghana and other beginners in the use of integrated Medicine, there are no schools to train practitioners, who also find it difficult to even produce articles to educate people on the efficacy of Alternative Medicine.
The Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine, he said, is expected to address that gap and also highlight the importance of the field to healthcare delivery for the country.
He averred that there are people who possess adequate knowledge about the field and who can argue on evidence about the efficacy of Alternative Medicine.
“For instance, there are thousands of articles today that identify pawpaw as a potent medicine for the treatment of cancer and over thousand others that support the use of hibiscus as a remedy for the treatment of hypertension,” he stated.
According to him, there is urgent need to bring science into the practice of Alternative Medicine in Ghana to improve the field like it is happening in Asia and some advanced countries of the world that have become power houses in Integrated Medicine.
He disclosed that cancer treatment centers in the United State have embraced Integrated Medicine in their healthcare delivery unlike in Ghana.
He argued that the treatment of cancer is a complex situation and therefore most patients do not want to seek treatment from conventional centers because of the side effects.
“So what do we do to deal with the side effects of conventional treatment of cancer,” he queried?
He noted that there is evidence to support the use of natural and nutritional medicine and others to deal with the side effects of conventional treatment and improve the quality of health of patients.
“Cancer treatment is an effort to improve the quality of health. There is therefore the need to bring knowledgeable people to the field and introduce an integrated approach in treatments,” he stated.
Dr. Nyarkotey mentioned that the focus of the new College of Holistic Medicine, which is affiliated to the Da Vinci College in Cyprus, is to train people to be able to practice holistic medicine with confidence in fields including homeopathy, clinical nutrition, naturopathy, batch flower remedy among many others.
Natural health crusader and famous speaker on alternative medicine on radio, Oheneba Ntim Barimah, in his lecture noted that contrary to popular belief Alternative Medicine is the first form of healthcare delivery known to human kind before the advent of orthodox medicine.
He disclosed that alternative medicine is gaining recognition in the advanced world and cited Germany as an example where medical students are compelled to take courses in alternative medicine for two years before practicing.
He wondered why the situation is different in Africa where alternative medicine has been in practice for generations before the introduction of orthodox medicine by the Europeans.
He noted that the side effects of orthodox treatment and drugs has led to a new paradigm where the world is gravitating towards integrative medicine not only to deliver safer healthcare but to also address the negativity related to orthodox treatment, for example in cancer treatment.
He was later honoured with a citation for his tremendous work in the practice of alternative medicine.
The 15th Konor of the Yilo Klo State, Oklepene Nuer Anorboah Sasraku II, who chaired the occasion appealed to the Ministry of Health to collaborate with the College to address the enormous challenges in the delivery of Alternative Medicine.
He described the launch of the college as a historical event that has given birth to the study of holistic medicine in Ghana and Africa as a whole.
He stressed that Alternative Medicine practice should be in the hands of experts and not quacks and called on the Traditional Medicine Practice Counsel (TMPC) to weed out the fake practitioners who have adopted the title doctor and are deceiving the unsuspecting public.
Holistic medicine, he said, also requires adequate training hence the need to root out all the fakes and sanitize the field.
President at the event was a high powered delegation of chiefs including the Chief of Ashiaman, Nii Annang Adzor, Nana Okomfuo Twum Barimah of Assin and the Konor of Yilo Klo Oklepene Nuer Anorboah Sasraku II and Torgbui Yaka IV.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org