Integrating traditional medicine into the Ghanaian health system: perceptions and experiences of traditional medicine practitioners in the Ashanti region

Ampomah, Irene G., Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S., Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, Malau-Aduli, Aduli E.O., and Emeto, Theophilus I. (2023) Integrating traditional medicine into the Ghanaian health system: perceptions and experiences of traditional medicine practitioners in the Ashanti region. International Health. (In Press)

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Abstract

Background Traditional medicine (TM) plays a vital role in the Ghanaian health system by serving as an alternative healthcare delivery system for the majority of people. However, the quality of practice and level of TM practitioners’ involvement in the integration of TM into the health system have not been fully investigated.

Methods This study employed a phenomenological qualitative study design to explore the perceptions, experiences and recommendations of TM practitioners in the Ashanti region regarding TM integration. Data were collected through individual interviews with 17 participants.

Results Participants had knowledge about TM integration. They cited effective alternative healthcare delivery and improved patient outcomes as the key benefits of TM integration. However, they reported a shortage of approved TM products, poor visibility of TM integration and poor relational coordination of care as factors hampering the integration. Participants recommended improved interprofessional relationships, provision of financial support and improved publicity of TM as possible strategies to enhance TM integration in Ghana.

Conclusions The findings of the study clearly demonstrate that the Ghanaian health system is currently operating a consumer-led, tolerant health system with a parallel (between orthodox and TM practitioners) healthcare delivery model. Successful implementation of an effective TM integration would require improved integrative collaborative coordination of care between orthodox and TM practitioners in Ghana.

Item ID: 76336
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1876-3405
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Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2022 23:42
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420311 Health systems @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200206 Health system performance (incl. effectiveness of programs) @ 100%
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