From Inusa Musah
The first Africa Holistic Medical School, Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine, has opened at Ashaiman to train students to research and promote science-based alternative medicine.
Over the years, conventional medicine has failed to treat diseases like cancers, fibroids, among other diseases, some of which have been attributed to witchery.
The Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine is run by Dr Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, one of Ghana’s renowned Alternative Medicine writers in The Chronicle.
The school is recognised by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council of the Ministry of Health, with accreditation and mentorship by the Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine in Cyprus.
With a staff that has in-depth knowledge in the use of natural medicines, the college would run a four-year programme in Naturopathic Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Bach Flower Remedy, Holistic Medicine, Clinical Nutrition and Homeopathic Medicine at its campuses in both Ashaiman and Tema.
Students who complete the programmes would be eligible to apply to join the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana (AMAG), and get registered as holistic medical practitioners by the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Practice Council (TMPC).
Qualified graduates are expected to write the professional Qualifying Examination to be conducted by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council of the Ministry of Health.
Recently, the college organised its first-ever public lecture on Alternative Medicine at its Ashaiman campus, and the enormous turnout, indeed, proved that Ghanaians have embraced alternative medicine.
The lecture was graced by top traditional leaders, including the Director of Traditional and Alternative Medicine Directorate, Dr Anastasia Yirenkyi, and Oheneba Ntim Barima, another astute Alternative Medicine crusader.
Currently, in Ghana, there is no college dedicated to alternative medicine at the higher level, and Nyarkotey College has set the pace.
Naturopathic doctors are trained similarly to general practitioners (GP) in the medical doctor model, and like the GPs, Naturopathic doctors are able to identify emergency cases and potentially life-threatening diseases.
They are trained in first aid and follow a ‘gold standard of treatment’ based on modern medicine and research.
The Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine is mentored by the world renowned Da Vinci College, with specialty in Holistic Medicine, which operates a modular degree system by which degrees are obtained via a process of credit accumulation.
With the government’s support, Dr Nyarkotey is hopeful that the herbal industry has a major boost with the introduction of the degree programme in Herbal Medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
It is time for Parliament to have a relook at the Traditional Medicine Practice amendment bill, which now includes alternative medicine, to speed its passage into law.
This would, consequently, eliminate the unqualified people from the profession.
Dr Nyarkotey suggested a different directorate to take charge of alternative medicine and a separate council for alternative medicine, arguing that “this would create public awareness and differentiation of the two professions we have…Traditional and Alternative Medicine.
“The amendment should have a specific chapter for who uses the title ‘Dr’ and what qualification should warrant that.”