Enhancing Healthcare System in Ghana through Integration of Traditional Medicine
Traditional Medicine (TM) has been practised in Ghana from time immemorial and many Ghanaians still patronise the services of traditional medical practitioners (TMPs). However, TM has not been integrated into the formal healthcare delivery system of the country. This might be partly due to attitudes and perceptions towards it. The aim of the study was to find out the attitudes and perceptions of Scientific Medical Practitioners (SMPs) towards TM in Ghana and then propose measures for the full integration of TM into Ghana’s healthcare delivery system. A descriptive survey methodology was used to solicit responses from all 33 SMPs practising in the Central Region of Ghana. An in-depth interview and self administered questionnaire were the main instruments used for data collection. The main result of the study is that, although SMPs would want the full integration of TM into the formal healthcare delivery system, when confronted with possible ways of working with TMPs they showed reluctance to accepting them as equal partners since they perceived their practice as inferior to theirs. In order to reduce the mistrust and lack of understanding of the philosophy that underlie Scientific Medicine and Traditional Medicine, there must be regular consultations and dialogue between and among practitioners of the two medical systems. This may engender the needed trust and respect that the practitioners need to accord each other in order to develop and integrate TM into the national healthcare system.
Keywords: attitudes, integration, perception, scientific medical practitioners, traditional medicine.
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