News from Premier International School of Homeopathy & Alternative Medicine

‘Onipa Apomuden Ye Ate Nkwa’
A person’s health is his life

PISHAM is On the Move (again!)

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 23.39.08For the third time in just over three years PISHAM, Premier International School of Homeopathy & Alternative Medicine, has relocated to new premises. In the spirit of its tubercular nature and stillyearning for a new space, a new adventure and new surroundings; the yearning, the longing for that ideal school environment that would provide a more settled base, kept tugging away at PISHAM heartstrings.

Over the years, with much uncertainty about a suitable location, it’s taken sheer guts and determination to keep the School and community work going without too much disruption. We carried on teaching students and offering consultations in two rooms, while still living out of boxes. This may not sound too bad to some, but when you want to complete formal educational processes, set up practically, expand and develop, two rooms and moving around constantly is less than ideal. PISHAM has good enough vitality to adapt to changing circumstances, but come on now? Enough!

In September 2015, the removal van left Iron City, Kasoa and stopped at Salaai Close, North Kaneshie. We have now moved into a soft and therapeutic environment with enough space to house the contents of our boxes and provide our school with enough rooms for teaching, a clinic, library, bookshop and more. Space for people too!

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Entrance to PISHAM at North Kaneshie
PISHAM Facilities
PISHAM Facilities

True to form and not wanting to delay the start of the academic year too much, we quickly cleared and prepared a few rooms so that by October we opened our doors to new and existing students!

It’s now June 2016 and we are coming to the end of another academic year feeling more grounded. Boxes have been unpacked, books are on shelves; clinic and pharmacy are now operational with case notes in filing cabinets and kettle and cups in their proper place.

There’s still much to do practically and formally, but being able to stretch our arms and legs and know where things are placed, means we can continue to focus on our future and become more settled in our approach to organising the year rather than the ‘fire-fighting’ strategy of the past!

NEW STUDENTS

Year One: started with five new students or HiTs (otherwise known as: Homeopaths in Training) including: Cynthia, Elizabeth, Cecilia, Bill and Edem, who all joined us in October 2015.

EXISTING STUDENTS

Year Two: includes Chris and Precious who moved to Ghana from Nigeria to study with us. They have done really well to settle into Accra, completing Year one with good results, both in formal assignments and clinical work. They are now continuing with us in Year Two and about to complete the Foundation training.

Student on deferral

Our student Ken, who deferred last year due to family responsibilities, has worked really hard to complete his Yr2 coursework and exams. Well done Ken!

COMPLETING DIPLOMA Coursework

Year Four: An exciting time as we hope to have two students, Phillip and Noble, achieving their Diploma early next year. They will complete their final pieces of coursework to be passed to The Contemporary College of Homeopathy (CCH) UK for assessment.

CCH are the awarding body for the Diploma. We are all excited that we are soon to have our very first Diploma graduates. We are looking forward to not only celebrating the awarding of the Diplomas, but also the success of our joint partnership with CCH(UK).

Exams

As we approach the end of the academic year; EXAM FEVER! is underway. Remedy, revise, study and breathe easy! You have all worked really hard HiTs and we wish you every success.

Love in is in the air!

We all love a love story. This year two of our female students have been married to the men of their dreams! Ahhhhh! Congratulations to Anoeshka and Jaen; Cynthia and Henry. We wish them lasting and happy relationships.

The An Award 2016

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Anoeshka receiving her certificate in India with Drs Kalyan and Dilip Battacharyea

Winning Students

Anoeshka Bekker, our other second year student from the UK who works a childminder in Ghana, joined our course in the same year as Chris and Precious and was the latest PISHAM student successful in her application to The An Award, when she organised a homeopathy awareness workshop; her target group being local parents. She also took a consultation with a client from a Muslim community in central Accra, all resulting in her trip to India in February this year to participate in a two week course run by homeopathic Doctors Kalyan and Kalishankar Battacharyea.

So far, four PISHAM students have worked really hard and been fortunate enough to deservedly win this opportunity. Many thanks to Dr. An Debsyer for providing our students with such an invaluable opportunity during their training. A great initiative which we hope can continue.

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COMMUNITY WORK

Flood & Fire Disaster Support

On June 3rd last year, there was a flood/fire disaster that devastated the Kwame Nkrumah Circle area in the centre of Accra. Rainfall during rainy season was much heavier than usual, plus a fire at a local petrol station led to loss of many lives, property and livelihoods in the area. Grace, the course leader, quickly got involved in supporting one of the communities by setting up an on-site outreach clinic, where she worked for six weeks. Grace provided homeopathic treatment for deep trauma, shock, separation and loss, to many individuals and their families. We hope never to have this experience in Ghana again.

Fire/Flood Disaster Area at Circle in Accra
Fire/Flood Disaster Area at Circle in Accra
Grace in the Clinic she set up at Circle
Grace in the Clinic she set up at Circle

More Community Initiatives

In March this year, in a new initiative, PISHAM began offering homeopathic treatment to children and young adults with ‘complex needs’ in a joint working partnership with a youth training establishment along the coastal belt in Cape Coast. The partnership is fully established now and has already created significant improvements in the health of the young people. Histories of the young people include: abuse, neglect and pathologies that threaten life span including physical complaints where children have absorbed toxic substances from the environment.

These community initiatives provide students with invaluable practical training throughout the course and expose them to a diverse range of histories & pathologies; encouraging thought about the potential to set up practice in range of ways. Not just in buildings and consultations. PISHAM has a long history of setting up outreach clinics in areas where there is no or limited access to healthcare facilities. Students are actively involved in these clinics, participating in various roles according to their stage in the course i.e. registering clients and taking vital signs, observing or taking consultations or operating the mobile pharmacy.

Our most recent long standing outdoor clinic was in Ofaakor, Odupong, Kasoa. As a result of our work and the gap in health facilities in the area: The Chief of that community donated nearly 12 acres of land to PISHAM to build Dr. Berdie’s vision for a permanent school/campus/health facility in the future. Fantastic! However, it will take a significant amount of funding to develop this project: costs for formal registration, customary gifts, architects; as well as getting the basic build up and running. While working towards developing the site and Dr. Berdie’s vision, we’ll be planting seeds and developing a farm where we can raise income from the sale of the produce to get us started.

But we need your support!

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Kasapa – Student Talk!

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Cynthia Larteley Young Yr.1

I enjoy lectures and the cordial relationship between the students and teachers. I would like the teaching days to increase due to the amount of work to get through the syllabus and thepracticals.

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William (Bill) Tackie Yr.1

I am a mature student with a lot of life experience that helps me to understand the teaching at PISHAM very fast. Many years ago I learned a lot from working with a renowned Ghanaian homeopath in his practice. I like the way the school is teaching me, far better than the online study I also did! I hope I can master the course in 4 years time and be a great homeopath.

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Edern Kumatse Yr.1

I joined PISHAM because I have a passion for helping people to achieve good health. I have entrusted my hopes in it that with PISHAM I can achieve my dream and seen PISHAM to be a very determined school, with lecturers who always get students up and going with academic activities. We are always eager and ready to learn something new and I know I have a great future with PISHAM. Thank you.

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Precious Anyanyebechi Yr.2

My school PISHAM is my pride because it has taught me how to understand both diseases and the individual. Not only have I understood homeopathy, but also the characteristics of different individuals. My dream is to become a great homeopath, which is imminent since I’m on the right path. I wish that people understand homeopathy as I do, especially those who have chosen to be a doctor.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 23.40.25Kenneth Tettey Bedu Yr.2

PISHAM is a very serious school with the lecturers helping students to achieve their purpose of attending. The lecturers are hard-working to keep the institution solid in spite of the school’s ups and downs with relocation problems yet still maintain a higher & greater standard. Come on board to help move the college forward!

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 23.40.42Christopher Aniebonam Yr.2

The school has offered me a lot in terms of understanding homeopathy in detail. It’s very professional. My dream is to clear the doubt over homeopathy so people know that there is much more to achieve with homeopathy. My hope is to inculcate in people that homeopathy is the embodiment of world medicine when it comes to understanding the principles and definition of medicine. I am committed to becoming an advocate for the profession.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 23.41.01Anoeshka Bekker Yr.2

There are so many positive things to say about PISHAM, however, the aspects I cherish most are the wonderful friendships that I have made; the incredibly diverse, fascinating and all encompassing learning and the deeper understanding into African culture. Not only do the teachers at PISHAM teach you about homeopathy, they also include science, spirituality, compassion and intuition. This makes for an all round fantastically enriching environment to learn and grow.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 23.41.15Lionel Noble Kpogo Yr.4

For the past four years I have received a comprehensive training in both theory and practice as a homoeopathic student. I am very confident that I will be a good homeopathic practitioner after I have graduated and will have lots of success in my practice. To all the seasoned homeopaths across the globe who have impacted so much on my training, I sincerely love you all for the support and encouragement. Stay blessed. I feel very happy and challenged to do more so that people can enrol proudly as homeopathic students, just like medical students applying to the universities in Ghana.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 23.41.29Phillip Kpogo Yr.4

My four year training in homeopathy at PISHAM has added a lot to my previous knowledge in homeopathy. I trained with the Netherlands group ‘Homeopaths Without Borders’ many years ago, and have over 30yrs in practice. The additional four years training from PISHAM has encouraged me to expand my practice. Thanks to all the foreign lecturers and PISHAM school management for the opportunity and support. Long live homeopaths! Long live homeopathy!

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Ti Koro Nnk o Ayging!

Two heads are better than one!

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 23.41.49Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 23.42.00Oh, what a year and what a journey! Dr. Berdie (Principal) and me, Grace Rhoomes (Course Leader), are two heads with specific roles and responsibilities that are interdependent. We have been working together for nine years now. In the first two years I commuted back and forth from UK to Ghana before settling here for the last seven years. In that time we have transformed provision at the school from only short courses to a fully established 4 Year Diploma course.

We’ve been involved in a move, a shuffle and a resettle or two with PISHAM; alongside our supporters and a disgruntled few! At each destination we have delighted in teaching new students and treating clients. Dr Berdie and I will keep on doing just that. I am as much in wonder at it all, nine years on, as I was when I first arrived here. So much so that I’ve written a poem:

If I could wander and roam in the reds, greens and golds of this land,
I would wander and wonder and breathe.
If I could heal and teach and restore faith in love,
I would heal and teach and help to heal.
If I could be anywhere else but Ghana right now
I’d be right here in Ghana just now;
And I am.

 

I still wander and roam in the red, gold, green (and black!)
And wonder at the healing and teaching and love,
And the hard and soft of the scent of the journey,
And the beat and power and rhythm of the dance.
I have faith I’m fulfilling my destiny’s call,
And in doing all this I’m having a ball.

 

My life is a work of art, a beautiful contemporary dance!

Grace Rhoomes

Further Details of courses, to make donations, become a volunteer or information about the items presented here can be found by emailing: info@pisham.com

New co-ordinator Jacqueline Smith shares her perspective

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 11.28.13-255An Exciting Future for GHP

Since taking on her role as Project Co-ordinator, Jacqueline Smith has spent much of her time in Ghana and shares her ‘on the ground’ perspective

Over the first year of my involvement in GHP I’ve seen some exciting advances in the activities undertaken by and for all involved with the Project. We’ve been reviewing organisational needs with plans to expand support in line with the GHP mission. All of this is possible only with the much valued contributions from our donors and supporters. At PISHAM the student body, while still growing, is beginning to reflect the quality of the curriculum offered. Young people representing not only Ghana and other African countries such as Nigeria and even from the United Kingdom, now choose to learn homeopathy at the School.

Jacqueline and Grace visit Mafi Seva with a group of PISHAM students and graduates
Jacqueline and Grace visit Mafi Seva with a group of PISHAM students and graduates

This year two of the present Ghanaian students, third-year student Lionel ‘Noble’ Kpogo and second year Kenneth Bedu won the chance to travel to India for two weeks to study with our associates of long standing, the Drs Bhattacharyya. The An Award, which has been running for three years and is sponsored by Belgian homeopath Dr An Debsyer, has become a sought after opportunity for students to prove their commitment to learning and practice in their own communities. They do this by incorporating the outstanding teaching and experience that they receive in Kolkata into their own practice, in the projects they submit to qualify and in sharing their experience with fellow students on their return. A trip brilliantly organised once again by GHP’s Angie Metzger.

Angie, Emperor and Noble on the ferry across the Ganges to visit a Mother Teresa Mission that looks after disabled people, from babies through to the elderly. They went to see the centre and how homeopathy is used there
Angie, Emperor and Noble on the ferry across the Ganges to visit a Mother Teresa Mission that looks after disabled people, from babies through to the elderly. They went to see the centre and how homeopathy is used there

They were accompanied by Rebecca Sturgeon, a mentor on the recently initiated Webinar course in Kumasi with Kumasi Homeopathy Study Group (KHSG). This course is another piece of inspired organisation, this time from its founder Bonsu Boaten and GHP’s Lyn Clark.
The keen and committed students here, including teachers and nurses, are now nervously preparing for their end of first year exams. Trustees, international teaching staff and mentors all wish them and the PISHAM students good luck.

Emperor, director at Mafi Seva Water and Homeopathy Project, also participated on the Indian Study trip (for the fourth time) before returning to continue, quite literally, building his vision of a centre of excellence for homeopathic training.

 Emperor attending to a patient with typhoid
Emperor attending to a patient with typhoid

After ten years of his own homeopathic study and intense practice in the Volta region, Emperor strongly wishes to leave a legacy of access to the continuing study and practice of homeopathy for future generations of local people. Like PISHAM in Accra, and now KHSG in Kumasi city, the centre in Mafi Kumase will work towards providing a four-year Diploma course in Homeopathy with student clinic and library and provision of outreach treatment. The six-room building has just had its roof added.

Outreach clinic at Mepe with Grace Rhoomes
Outreach clinic at Mepe with Grace Rhoomes

Immense gratitude is due to all concerned for providing regular contributions of books, remedies, support, skills, experience and, crucially, finance; for this is what keeps those fires of inspiration burning and I’m honoured to have been invited to join and contribute to this exciting journey.

The future is bright with GHP

Kumasi Homeopathic Study Group – By Bonsu Boaten

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By Bonsu Boaten, Kumasi Homeopathy Study Group Founder and Manager of Resource Centre

It has been seven years since the Ghana Homeopathy Project started supporting us in Kumasi. We have come a long way since our first clinic on the 20th of June 2008 when Mel Duprés was our first visiting homeopath.
Since then we had a full time clinic for a year (about to be resurrected), homeopathic visitors from as far afield as India, USA, Ireland, Scotland, Austria, Israel, Australia, not to mention the UK, just to name a few.
The vision from the start was to train the next generation of homeopathic practitioners to serve the needs of the people in and around Kumasi. We are well on our way to achieving that dream.

Lyn Clark has been the driving force for the Kumasi Distance Study
Lyn Clark has been a driving force for the Kumasi Distance Study

The training

Our focus in Kumasi over the year has been the successful adoption of the Introduction to Homeopathy Course put together by Homeopathy for Health in Africa. With just a little over a month left to complete our first year of what is to be a four year training programme, students, tutors and mentors are very satisfied with what we have been able to achieve this year and our sincere gratitude goes out to the many people who have contributed in many diverse ways to make it all possible, especially to Lyn Clark, The GHP Kumasi Coordinator. We have been fortunate to have had a number of visits from inspirational and experienced homoeopaths such as Linda Shannon, Lyn Clark, Jacqueline Smith and Julian Jonas and we are looking forward to more from the experienced team of international homeopathy teachers lined up to grace us here in Kumasi before the end of the year.
We have been able to leverage modern communication technology to bring a truly international team of teachers and mentors together with webinars and Skype mentoring.

The homeopathy community in the UK has made an immense contribution to our efforts to make the best of the available literature accessible to the homeopathic community here in Kumasi
The homeopathy community in the UK has made an immense contribution to our efforts to make the best of the available literature accessible to the homeopathic community here in Kumasi

The library

Over the past few years we have received well over 500 books. Previously we had a selection of the best titles on display and available for borrowing but we have found a larger space and are proud to have all our books out on display as of July 2015. Now we are truly spoilt for choice.
Recently we were also able to get an inter -Ghana exchange going with Emperor Tsamenyi, who runs the clinic at Mafi Seva, making the trip to Kumasi. He shared much with us of his experiences using homeopathy in the Ghanaian set up. It was like a visit from our big brother and we are making plans to return his visit in the near future.
On the 15th May 1817 Thomas Edward Bowdich was the first Englishman to enter Kumasi. I find it very interesting that almost two hundred years later a great homeopathic legacy is being put in place by those who have followed in his footsteps.

Ghana Homeopathy Project 10 years on

10 years on!

An overview by GHP Founder and Mentor Linda Shannon – August 2015

P1080344-258The Ghana Homeopathy Project is now 10 years old and we are realising that another 10 years will probably be needed for our work to become fully self-sustaining!

It has been exciting to watch the project gradually emerge over the years to form our present structure. We now have three independent training centres in Ghana, each uniquely shaped by the interests, enthusiasm and vision of the people involved in Ghana, the UK and internationally.

Mafi Seva

In Mafi Seva village, Emperor Tsamenyi, now a well-trained and experienced homeopath (also director of a Primary Health Care Centre and effective Clean Water Project) is in the process of realising his vision of building a dedicated centre for village based homeopathic learning and treatment. Villagers arrive at Emperor’s present clinic in a steady stream to seek homeopathic treatment, usually on the recommendation of a friend or relative.

Kasoa

In Kasoa, just outside Accra, the Premier International School of Homeopathy and Alternative Medicine runs a 2-year Certificate and a 4-year Diploma of training in Homeopathy. It was a joy to meet the PISHAM students again on my last visit and see how they had grown in their clinical understanding and experience. A new training clinic has been opened in a deprived district of Accra, an area affected by the recent fire and flood that claimed many lives.

New course in Kumasi

Very exciting is the launch of a one-off 4-year course in Kumasi – the vision of our Ghana partner Bonsu Boaten and UK based homeopath Lyn Clark – to train local people by means of both face to face teaching and via internet-based learning. To run regular Webinars in a country where it is ‘lights off’ (no electricity) almost a third of the time is no mean achievement. Each student has a UK mentor and the clinics are offering homeopathy at low cost.  The Webinars have been a big breakthrough in our ability to transfer the knowledge of homeopathy.

Ehi outreach clinic with Dr Kalishankar Bhattacharyya
Ehi outreach clinic with Dr Kalishankar Bhattacharyya

International links

We have been able to send six volunteer homeopaths to Ghana and to continue our program of training courses in Kolkata, with the Drs Bhattacharyya.
We have sent three shipments of homeopathic books and remedies to Ghana over the last year, enough to give the essential textbooks to our students and to create substantial libraries in each of the three centres.

Research

As a Project, we are committed to research and monitoring the effectiveness of our work. Thanks to a grant from the Homeopathic Research Institute, we are conducting a study into the efficacy of homeopathy for the mental health and well being of our clients based at Mafi Seva clinic. The first stage is coming to an end now, so analysis can begin and the research evaluation proper can commence in a few months time.

Our team

This has been a year of both consolidation and expansion. Our team has gained tremendously in capacity. We have two new committed members: Jacqueline Smith as Project Coordinator based in Ghana, and Lyn Clark as Kumasi Co-coordinator. Some of the Ghana students are taking a more active role as well. Hundreds of people, many experiencing financial hardship and inadequate health care, have benefitted from homeopathic treatment from professionally trained homeopaths.

Are we succeeding in the goal of helping homeopathy to take root in Ghana with all the benefits it brings to enhance health care options for people in need?
After a decade of hard work, sharing our passion for homeopathy with our Ghana partners, I can confidently answer yes.

Our vision for the next ten years is to make the Project fully self-sustaining and Ghana led. We will then have a complete and equal exchange of homeopathic knowledge and Ghana will be an emerging presence on the map of countries where homeopathy is an established health care option for its people.

The 2015 Homeopathic Research Institute International Conference in Rome

In July Jacqueline Smith won a grant from the the Manchester Homeopathic Clinic to attend the HRI conference and GHP helped to fund her travel costs, as it was seen as directly relevant to our ongoing pilot and future mental health research in Ghana.

Jacqueline writes:

Jacq2Rome15-148As GHP Coordinator I appreciated the chance to meet, for the first time, individuals from other homeopathy projects in Africa and representatives from key homeopathic organisations such as EECH and the British Homeopathic Association. The studies presented ranged from mental health and malaria to respiratory tract infections and cancer. There were papers on the ethics of conducting homeopathic research and provings (homeopathic pathogenetic trials) and also on laboratory based trials involving the use of animals – I chose not to attend the latter but results were made available in plenary sessions on the last day.

Most of the trials presented appeared to show statistically significant results. The closing presentation was by fellow Glaswegian and well-respected researcher Robert T. Mathie who, with colleagues, had completed a meta-analysis of available homeopathic research up to 2013. He reported their validity as generally poor and encouraged more stringent adherence to protocols and validity measures. He stated that the best research to undertake for the purposes of credibility on homeopathic terms were Random Controlled Trials of individualised homeopathic medicines.

Petter Viksveen of the University of Sheffield presented the results of such a trial – Homeopathy in Self-reported Depression: a pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial. Results were statistically significant in those accepting the offer of homeopathic treatment in addition to their usual care alone. Outcome measures used were the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the Generalised Anxiety Disorder( GAD-7), with results being measured at 6 and 12 months.
Interestingly, but not surprising, the most prescribed remedies were Nat Mur and Ignatia; with potencies of 30c and 200c used most often.

My thanks to MHC and GHP for enabling me to attend this conference.

Inspiring video on African Mission School Homeopathy in Zambia

People are realizing that homeopathy has much to offer in Africa

The story of the Mission School of Medicine, which is unrelated to Ghana Homeopathy Project, is inspiring and encouraging to those of us who strive to do something concrete for health in Africa through the medium of Homeopathy.

A MONTH IN GHANA

Julian Jonas
by Julian Jonas

Night had already fallen when the motorcycle slowly puttered up to the clinic.  It was during the periodic “lights out” that beset the village every 72 hours or thereabouts, so electricity had been shut down until dawn. I would learn that patients often arrived at the clinic in this manner, sandwiched between the driver and someone riding shotgun who kept them upright. 
 
The patient, a lean middle-aged man, was already lying on a simple mattress on the concrete floor.  When I asked Emperor what the problem was, he told me it appeared to be an acute hernia. “He’s been here before for the same thing.  People come here all the time with hernias. Farmers, labourers – they work very hard.  I give them a remedy and it usually works very well.  They prefer it to surgery – which, at any rate, they can’t afford.  Give him 20 minutes, you’ll see”. At some point in the night, long after I retired, he apparently was brought back home. 
 
The next morning after breakfast as Emperor and I were seeing a patient, a man casually sauntered up and sat down.  When we had finished, Emperor turned to me and said, “You see?”   I replied, “See what?”  “This is the man from last night, the man with the hernia…” There was that grin again.  “He has come to thank us…  Says he’s fine.”  The man flashed me a broad smile as well, said a few words and went on his way. In Ghana people do not always have ready access to doctors and hospitals.

Emperor’s given name is Samuel Komla Tsamenyi.  He is the clinic manager and lead homeopath at the clinic in Mafi Seva and has a background in water engineering as the project manager of a water project in the Volta Region of Ghana.   Fifteen years or so earlier, an India-based philanthropic organization had sponsored the project to bring water to a region where people were needing to spend a good portion of their day walking long distances to and from a single watering hole which did not have clean water. Dracunculiasis was endemic, a particularly unpleasant waterborne parasite, better known as Guinea Worm. As part of the clean water project a rural medical clinic was established with a few nurses, midwifes and outreach workers. Several years into the project Linda Shannon, a visiting homeopath from England, suggested that it would be a wonderful idea to make homeopathy available at the clinic.  And so, the Ghana Homeopathy Project was born.

Homeopaths – mostly British – volunteered to travel to Ghana, treat the villagers as well as teach at a small school established in the capital city of Accra.  Emperor originally was enlisted as a translator, but seeing the efficacy of these tiny white pills he quickly became enamoured with the idea of becoming a homeopath himself.  Over the years he has become a very good one, with the broad range of experience that one might expect from treating medically underserved African villagers. 
 
Africa is something of a new frontier for homeopathy.  Aside from Ghana there are clinical and educational projects underway in a number of countries including Kenya, Botswana, Swaziland, and Tanzania. Here, a low-tech, inexpensive, effective and gentle medical modality such as homeopathy seems to be a perfect fit.

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Before heading off to Ghana I was given the impression from past volunteers with whom I spoke that most of the cases in the village clinic of Mafi Seva would be relatively simple ones of acute illness or injuries.   This turned out to be not entirely accurate. Emperor does treat chronic cases and has become especially adept at finding out the emotional aspects of each as, as well as unearthing the causes. Homeopathy treats people and not diseases – each person is a unique individual with a history.

The cases were simple in the sense that they were fairly straightforward. Unlike my own practice where many patients have chronic degenerative diseases, autoimmune illness or complex mental states often complicated by medical and dental interventions as well as multiple prescriptions, the people I saw in the village presented with conditions and histories that were less involved.  There were fewer strands and influences to untangle, and, overall, responses to the remedies seemed to be more immediate.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of the people I treated presented with problems that were of a chronic nature.   Even the injury cases stemmed from incidents years or decades earlier, or involved structural issues as a result of repeated strain, lifting and carrying. Like most rural areas in the undeveloped world, the labours of farming, construction and other chores of life are not mechanized. There is a great deal of physical stress placed on their bodies. The women also have the additional effects of bearing and giving birth to large numbers of children.

Ghanaian villagers, again especially the women, are remarkably skilled at carrying things on their heads like large trays bearing piles of cassava root or a substantial piece of luggage. It is not unusual to spot a schoolgirl walk home in the afternoon with her books on her head. But years of such burdens can take a toll.

More to the point, the perception that the cases were simple was probably more a reflection of how the practitioner worked than of the patient.  Given the opportunity and inclination to understand the full symptom picture along with the accompanying physical and mental states, as well as explore the medical and personal life history, one finds a fair amount of complexity indeed.  Put more succinctly, you get what you are looking for.

With the case of an older woman who complained of palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness and general fatigue, on examination her blood pressure and pulse were fairly normal but a careful history revealed that the onset of her complaints was synchronous with the death of one of her adult children a number of years before.   In fact, within a period of several years, she had lost three of her children.

She was a reserved, serious person, loath to complain or share with others the burden of her losses. Thinking of her children always aggravated her symptoms, but she would only allow herself tears when alone.

Although there was a significant cardiac component, this was clearly a case of what is listed in the Repertory as ‘ailments from grief’.  More specifically, it was a case of ‘prolonged and unresolved ailments from grief’.  Based on this rubric as well as a few others related to her general demeanour and general physical symptoms, she was given a dose of the remedy that most closely fitted this picture. Due to the short length of my stay in the village I was not able to have any follow-up on these patients.  But I felt confident that they were given deep acting remedies that addressed the underlying causes of their complaints.

Old Lady

One hot and slow afternoon at the clinic in Mafi Seva, a taxi drove up with an old woman accompanied by three of her adult children.   While she lay sprawled out in the back seat, the children got out and approached us to ask if it might be possible to treat their mother.

They explained that while walking in the fields about three years earlier, she had experienced a sharp pricking pain on the tip of the large toe of her left foot.  It had immediately become quite inflamed, and she went to the hospital for treatment.  The inflammation subsequently had subsided until about four months ago when with no apparent cause it re-emerged.  This time though the inflammation spread and treatment at the hospital had proved ineffective.

She appeared to be in a semi-comatose state but aware enough to be experiencing pain as her face was in a grimace.  The bottom of the toe in question was quite black as was an ulcerated area about the size of a human hand on the upper foot in front of the ankle. The children were not able to provide any other relevant information.  But the lesions were profound and serious, appearing quite septic.  There was no way to be sure, but it seemed reasonable to surmise the ‘pricking’ in the field was from the bite of a snake or some other poisonous animal.

One remedy came to mind immediately that was well known for septic wounds and black discoloration. Historically used for blood poisoning arising from cuts, snakebites, or gunshot wounds, in homeopathic dilutions it has remarkable curative properties for all kinds of obstinate wounds or bad infections.

After the remedy was made up into a liquid solution and handed over to the children with instructions to give daily doses for several weeks before getting back to us, the three of them sat silently with their eyes going back forth between the small vial of clear liquid and myself. Doubt, incredulity and disappointment were written on their faces. I am not sure what they had expected – perhaps a direct treatment on the wound or injections or more impressive looking medicines, but my assurance that the medicine was indeed quite potent seemed to assuage them very little.  Nevertheless, they said they would dispense the medicine as directed and let us know how it went.

One unfortunate aspect of working at the clinic for a mere three weeks was that follow-up on many of the patients was either incomplete or nonexistent.  Fortunately, a little serendipity afforded a bit of feedback in this case, when we met one of the children in the local market.

Apparently, her mother had started responding to the remedy immediately.  The wound was turning from black to red, the pain was diminishing and her mental capacity had returned to the extent that she was talking again.  She said that though they were dubious at first, the family was very encouraged. Though it was still early in the curative process, the changes were fairly dramatic for such a short period of time.   Hopefully, the remedy will bring her to a full recovery.

Nomads

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Julian Jonas is a Certified Homeopath practicing in Vermont, United States since 1991. He has travelled frequently to India for homeopathic studies. The trip to Mafi Seva was his first to Africa.

The Indian Homeopathic Perspective

By Lionel ‘Noble’ Kpogo (PISHAM 3rd Year Student), recipient of the 2015 An Award

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 11.39.29-261The opportunity to study homeopathy in India aided me personally and professionally. It was exciting, interesting, revealing and also challenging as I got to see the different methodology applied by professionals with the same training in another country and with cultural differences. I was overwhelmed by the continual exhibition of competence and experience of both doctors, Dr Kalyan and Dr Kalishankar Bhattacharyya and also Dr Dilip Bhattacharyya, whom I met for the first time. It was how they were able to answer every question as if reciting a poem – answers came so easily. They were very simple answers, straightforward and easy to comprehend. You saw the truth in what they were telling you. I appreciated Dr Dilip’s passion for doing more research into the mental aspects of homeopathy.

I consider the doctors to be walking encyclopaedias and have learnt many new remedies such as Myrica, Secale and Agaricus, to name a few. Secale I now see to be like a homeopathic broad spectrum antibiotic. The clinics were wonderful and very educational. I feel it has been a real experience and would love to go back again. The cases we witnessed have added to my experience and knowledge as a homeopath.
The diet in India was challenging initially and influenced me to learn nutritional values and new recipes or how to adapt ones I know. I think in the future there could be a window of opportunity to help people change their diet a bit.

Certificates were given to students at the completion of the course
Certificates were given to students at the completion of the course

The doctors told us, for example, that over the years they have gathered the statistics to show that vegetarians do not suffer with anal fistulas and fissures. In countries where most of the foods are heavy with carbohydrates many people may not realise that they may have fissures or fistulas. If a patient comes I now have the best advice to check and assist them into health.

Noble in clinic with Dr Dilip Bhattacharyya, Emperor Tsamenyi and Ken Bedu, colleagues from Ghana
Noble in clinic with Dr Dilip Bhattacharyya, Emperor Tsamenyi and Ken Bedu, colleagues from Ghana

This was a rich time for me and I feel that I have grown in so many ways. It has taught me the diplomacy to be able to promote teamwork. I intend to pass on the knowledge acquired on the course and will re-read, several times, what I was taught there to get more insight and understanding. From there I will start to implement it in each case that comes. Anytime a new patient is before me and I am taking the case, I will be able to look into all the dimensions and come out with the best remedy for the patient to restore them to health.

Inspired by India, Noble and Martin studying back in Ghana
Inspired by India, Noble and Martin studying back in Ghana

Teaching and learning surging ahead in Kumasi

Teaching over the internet

The last few months we have seen a fruitful collaboration in teaching between our trained teachers of homeopathy, such as Rebecca Sturgeon, Jane Parkin, Angie Metzger, Jo Morgan, Jacqueline Smith, linda Shannon, Lyn Clark, and Dion Tabrett, and the Kumasi group of students under the tutelage of Bonsu Boaten.

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Regular webinars

The team run, with the technical help of Peter Jadinge and others, online webinars that allow at a distance for face to face teaching replete with Q&A sessions between tutor and students.

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Mentoring

A whole system of mentoring has been set up by Lyn Clark helped by others, so to guarantee that all students can get the full benefit of quality teaching and make full progress in their homeopathy studies.

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