On 25th April 2006, I arrived in Ghana with the intention of introducing homeopathy to a group of interested people in Accra, the capital, and in 2 primary care centres located in the villages of Seva and Akwakwa.
This was possible because of the invitation by AMURT Ghana, a local charity/NGO, who have been present in Ghana for 15 years and who have many projects there, including a reservoir and clean water supply to 9 villages, 2 schools and 2 medical centres.
At present homeopathy is little known in Ghana. There has been some treatment available, mainly combined remedies e.g. mixtures for piles etc. Until now, as I understand, there has been no formal training.
My intention was to plant some seeds – introduce the use of a simple ﬁrst aid kit to the group in Accra and the health care workers in the villages. I was touched by the generosity of everyone I had approached before going. I had 20 ﬁrst aid kits donated by Helios, 30 First Aid books, posters, bottles and sat lac donated by The Homeopathic Supply Company, plus some signiﬁcant donations from the Sunrise Children’s Clinic and the Women in Homeopathy Conference.
Nothing prepares you for Africa…but the interest in Homeopathy and great desire for knowledge, further studies, treatment etc. were beyond my expectations. With the group in Accra we were able to cover 12 remedies from the Helios kit in 4 half-day sessions. The group were lively and asked penetrating questions. We learnt the remedies through dramas and the philosophy through discussions. It was interesting to ﬁnd the Law of Similars at work in African folk medicine. e.g drink the water from a bottle of dead snakes to protect from snake bite….!
Everyone was keen to continue and wanted to know when the next homeopath would be coming.
In the villages many people wanted treatment. I tried to keep this to a minimum because of the difﬁculties in follow-up in chronic cases. I noticed that the remedy pictures were more clear cut in many cases. There is generally a great poverty of infrastructure in Ghana and this includes health care and education. Perhaps because of this, and because of the cost, the people had experienced less conventional treatments and their vital force was able to express more directly.
Many of the sufferings of the villagers could have been easily prevented. Life is hard, especially for the women, who farm, carry heavy loads on their heads and often bear many children. The over exertion and muscle strain remedies came up again and again.
In the villages I taught only the use of Arnica and Aconite and left large bottles of Arnica 30. Until a larger project is underway I didn’t want to overwhelm the primary care workers with too much information. I also left a remedy kit and book in both clinics and have heard that people now want to learn more.
We ﬁnished with a one-day children’s clinic in Accra. 7 children came, their parents very keen to learn about this new kind of medicine. Most of the children had problems linked to malaria, indeed 3 had asthma following on from attacks of malaria. The impact of malaria on the health of children is huge, indeed greater than Aids in this part of Africa.
I hope that this trip is only the beginning. At the end of the visit, we formed a long-term plan for the promotion and development of homeopathy in Ghana, to include both treatment and training opportunities for future Ghanian homeopaths
The ﬁrst stage: working towards creating a permanent homeopathic presence in Ghana
A) To support a homeopath to come to Ghana to work on a more permanent basis. One possibility is a graduate from The Abha Light Homeopathic College in Kenya. We do have someone who is willing to come and need only to raise funds.
B) To open a clinic in Accra, complete with Homeopathic library, remedies, waiting room etc. We have been able to convert an existing building and the clinic, although a very basic structure at present, is almost ready to open. This will be the base for visiting homeopaths and the resident homeopath
C) Continue the training programme. Arranging for visiting homeopaths to train the interested group. As word gets around this is likely to expand. At this point I would like to co-ordinate an education programme equivalent to the ﬁrst year of a professional training. Visiting homeopaths will be able to offer support and supervision to the resident homeopath, seeing patients as needed.
D) Continue homeopathic training in the 2 villages. Emperor, our translator and co-ordinator in Seva village has been impressed with homeopathy and has started studying more. Many of the health care workers in the second village Akwakwa expressed interest. Resident and visiting homeopaths can go to the villages and continue training and treatment.
E) Fundraise to support the above programmes
The Second Stage: 1)Expand the Homeopathic clinic, staff with volunteers and resident homeopaths 2)Provide regular clinics in the villages, expand to other villages. 3)Provide a full professional training in homeopathy in Ghana.
With thanks to Helios Pharmacy, The Homeopathic Supply Company, the Women in Homeopathy Conference and the Sunrise Children’s Clinic for their generous support