Teaching Homeopathy and midwifery in Ghana

Glenis Paulette

[singlepic id=119 w=320 h=240 float=left]Fortunately I had already had a chance to acclimatise to African weather as I had joined my husband in Cote D’Ivoire 2 weeks before travelling to Ghana. He is working in Abidjan as a Football Manager and I had taken the plunge to rent out our home and come and live with him. Knowing that this was my plan, I contacted the British organisers of The Ghana Homeopathy Project, so I could volunteer my services teaching homeopathy to Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA’s), midwives and students, and familiarize myself with prescribing homeopathic remedies in an African context. There is no similar organisation in Cote D’Ivoire that I am aware of and the fact that they speak English in Ghana has the added bonus for me. I am both a midwife and homeopath of 25 years experience, and worked in a private midwifery practice in London for 7 years integrating these skills. I was keen to share my knowledge and also to learn from the people of Ghana what their midwifery and health challenges are and how they have overcome them, hoping to also be able to apply my newfound knowledge on my return to Abidjan.

My first work placement was at Mafi Seva, the village setting in the lower Volta region where Ghana Homeopathic project has been active for the last 10 years. While I was there I liaised with the local TBA’s doing antenatal visits together with them. I worked together with Emperor their resident homeopath, to doing between 5 and 10 homeopathic consultations most days, and assisted at 2 births. The first was a woman having her 4th baby. She had given birth to the other 3 at home with the support of her mother, but as she was away this time she decided to come to the clinic. Although contracting regularly, Horlali, the resident TBA, assessed her to be in early labour. As I was about to have a shower when this woman arrived, she suggested I should go and have it as she would not have the baby for a while. I was away for about half an hour and when I returned I was greeted with the sound of a baby crying before I opened the door. Horlali dried the baby and placed her on her mother’s abdomen. I gave the mother a dose of Arnica 30c, immediately after birth, as is my routine in the UK. The placenta was delivered by the mother about 20 minutes later after.

The second birth I was at happened later that night. It was a 2nd baby. Once again it was a straightforward birth. During her 2nd stage the woman’s contractions slowed down to every 10 minutes. She was not coached to push and I was starting to wonder if she was really in 2nd stage. I gave her a dose of Caulophyllum 200c and she pushed her baby out easily a few minutes later, during one contraction. Don’t know if I can take any credit for that though.

While at Mafi Seva I also had the opportunity to meet a group of very experienced TBA’s. Many had more than 30 years experience. My main objective was to teach them some basic homeopathy because they believed it would a valuable tool working in isolated communities. It was a challenge for me as they were illiterate and spoke little English so I was working with an interpreter. I had produced graphic representations of the remedies, and tried to act out some scenarios where they might be used. In consultation with the Emperor we decided to teach them about three remedies to start with. Those we choose were Arnica, Sepia and Carbo Veg. Each TBA was given vials of the chosen remedies to take with them. Arnica and Sepia tackle the issue of haemorrhage after birth, which they identified as one of their main issues, and Carbo Veg helps with resuscitation of the newborn. We decided on Sepia as many of the women in that community spent their lives working hard on their farms and had birthed several babies. I would have liked to give them some Caulophyllum too, but it was decided not to give them too much new information to absorb at one time. I have been asked to return, and look forward teaching them more remedies in the future.

Mum with 2nd baby and tba horlaliI am also an acupuncturist and gave a few treatments to local people including Emperor, mostly for problems with sore backs and extremeties. Gradually it was becoming know that I also did acupuncture and each day I had more people asking for it.

I gave talks introducing homeopathy to a group of midwives and nurses working in a hospital in Accra, and a group of Independent midwives working in Ho a town north of Accra. I also enjoyed spending 2 days with the students at the Premier School of Homeopathy and Alternative Medicine in Accra, as I was able to work with them on a deeper level.

I have had some feedback from Emperor about some of the homeopathic cases we saw together, so would like to briefly share some of our successful cases with you.

Case 1 – 40 year old single male who is a habitual drinker. His problem started 2 weeks ago after getting drunk. The following day he had a delusion that the Fetish priest came and hit him with a stick and ‘made him’ walk 3 kilometres to the fetish shrine for treatment, which was unsuccessful. Originally he had dreams of spirits and monsters who argued with him; now he no longer sees them but still hears them every time he falls to sleep. He often wakes up with a start in fear. Because he sees ghosts, hears voices and talks with spirits, was probably suffering from Delerium Tremens and was waking as if from fright, we decided that the best indicated remedy was Stramonium. He was given it in 1m potency and after 2 doses was once again back to normal.

Case 2 – 1 year old female, with large pustules on her face and head for past 2 weeks. The pus was white and bloody. They were also very itchy. She was crying a lot and not sleeping well. They cleared up completely with a few doses of Calc Sulph 30c.

Case 3 – 5 year old boy who had been suffering from constant involuntary dribbling of urine with frequent urge to urinate for the past week. He was also constipated. He was much improved after 2 doses of Causticum 30c.

Case 4 – 80 year old man who presented in the evening, unable to pass urine since early morning. After several doses of Solidago Virga 30c he was able to urinate normally again.

Case 5 – 23 year old single woman. For 3 years she has had itching skin all over her body. < head, face and vagina. Her skin looks rough and grainy but there is no rash. < cold, scratching, bathing. She has white leuchorea which is very itchy. Remedy Rhus Tox 200c 3 times daily. Since then her skin is now 100% OK. Her vaginal discharge improved then returned. Psychologically she is depressed, angry, disappointed and homesick, so Emperor has given her Nat Mur 200c as a 2nd prescription.

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Report to Ghana Homeopathy on charity work in Ghana from 10th of July to 24th of July 2012

by Ralf Jeutter

[slideshow id=5]When I went to Ghana for the first time two years ago to be part of the Ghana Homeopathy project, I went purely as a generalist homeopath, treating patients with a wide range of conditions, as are typically seen in countries like Ghana. Equally, the teaching had a general scope, ranging from acute conditions to philosophy. This time my contribution to the project had a specific focus due to the fact that I am now a fully qualified and registered podiatrist, and also because Claire Duguid, podiatrist and lecturer at the University of East London, accompanied me on the trip. Continue reading Report to Ghana Homeopathy on charity work in Ghana from 10th of July to 24th of July 2012

Return To Ghana – Theresa Partington

In November this year (2011) I returned to Ghana to work with the Ghana Homeopathy Project after a gap of three years.

The project has evolved in the intervening years in some very positive directions. My trip this time was divided into two distinct parts. The first week I spent in the peace and calm of Mafi Seva ( now on mains electricity) watching the daily routine going on around me, photographing the chickens, lizard,s goats and the children with huge bundles of sticks on their heads who mysteriously traverse the compound from time to time and ,of course, seeing patients. Continue reading Return To Ghana – Theresa Partington

My African Experience as a volunteer homeopath in Ghana

By Primrose Matheson

My journey to Ghana started with an introduction to ‘The Ghana Homeopathy Project’ from Angie who I met whilst studying in London.  Having read literature about the project I then contacted Linda Shannon and set about organising a fund raising event in Guernsey for which she came over for.  That was two years ago and finally in 2010 I was able to book up my flight and along with Angie to make the journey myself, to see the difference a small group of homeopaths were making in the remote areas of Ghana.  After flying into Accra which like many cities was a bombardment to the senses (although I must admit I enjoyed the backdrop of reggae that seemed to follow us where ever we went) I was excited about getting out of the city and into the village at Mafi Seva where the clinic is based. Continue reading My African Experience as a volunteer homeopath in Ghana

A Rewarding Volunteering Experience

By Angelika Metzger, who is board member of the Ghana Homeopathy Project and a practicing homeopath in London. She writes:
I travelled to Ghana in October 2010 to connect with the Project in Ghana. I was accompanied by Primrose Matheson, a recently qualified colleague who came to volunteer in support of our work and to gain experience in a rural clinical setting. We left London packed to the full with homeopathic supplies and gifts so generously donated to our Project.
During this visit my time was divided between Mafi-Seva, a rural village in the Volta region and the capital Accra. Emperor, Continue reading A Rewarding Volunteering Experience

Student feedback Richard’s class

From: Richard Pitt
Date: 19 June 2010
Subject: student feedback

Hi All,

here are some comments, and photo of the students.

Richard's Homeopathic Students

Emmanuel G Arthur

My experience in the class has really given great relief and a light thrown on all I am practicing as an apprentice homeopath. Continue reading Student feedback Richard’s class

Volunteer Ralf in Ghana

For three weeks in July-August this year I was a volunteer for the Ghana Homeopathy Project

One of the impressive achievements of this organisation is the introduction of a two year course of homeopathy. My role as a volunteer consisted partly of teaching a first year group homeopathy in Accra, capital of Ghana, and to practise and teach the practice of homeopathy to volunteers in the Continue reading Volunteer Ralf in Ghana

Report from Kumasi

child, KumasiIts a mellow evening in Benin, a good time for reflection on my past 6 months in Ghana. More importantly my homeopathic experience and I can share to hopefully encourage future volunteers to embrace the most friendly and welcoming country I have had the privilege to visit.

Before I left UK in Jan 2009 it was decided that Kumasi (Ghana’s second city) maybe the place for me to concentrate my homeopathic efforts. However I spent the first 4 weeks visiting the other clinics already set up by Mel Dupres and GHP in Accra and Seva.

Then I moved to Kumasi, hosted by the most welcoming family ‘chez Boaten’ plus 1,100 children, who even after 5 months still used me as a human climbing frame! I now know what a female spider feels like carrying her young, not to mentioned having my hair chewed and arms licked just to check on the white flavour – I loved it! The Ghanian children have a very special quality, I dare say if my backpack was not already bursting my fiancee would be a little suprised when meeting me at the airport!

Continue reading Report from Kumasi

The story of our Kumasi clinic

We began working in Kumasi at the request of newly qualified Ghanian homeopath Bonsu Boaten. It was wonderful to find that we could work together and shared the same vision

How we started the clinic

Volunteer homeopath Sara Savage travelled to Kumasi to work with Bonsu, and stayed for 4 months. In Kumasi, Sara conducted clinics at first at Bonsu’s Montessori school and his doctor aunt’s clinic.

Continue reading The story of our Kumasi clinic