26.4 C
City of Banjul
Thursday, June 20, 2024

9 traditional healers graduate as first naturopath in Gambia

- Advertisement -

Nine traditional healers in The Gambia have graduated from six months of training in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine from the Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicine & Technology, Ashaiman, Ghana. The Nyarkotey College is Ghana’s first recognised college by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC) of the Ministry of Health.

The College is also registered with the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET). The college under CTVET developed Ghana’s first National Occupational Standards programmes in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine at the Higher National Diploma and Bachelors level.

The college also offers certificates and diploma programmes in naturopathy and holistic medicine. The College is also an educational member of the World Naturopathic Federation (WNF), Canada.

- Advertisement -

The nine traditional healers who graduated from the six months programmes in naturopathy were members of the National Traditional Healers Association of The Gambia (TRAHASS).

The graduation was part of the activities that heralded the  1st National Conference on Traditional and Alternative Medicine organised by the healers that took place at the Gambia College, Brikama.

The training was a result of a scholarship package worth 10,000 dollars provided by the president of the college, Prof Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, who has been in the country to pursue his legal education at the Gambia Law School.

- Advertisement -

Prof Nyarkotey admonishes modern naturopaths to strive to adhere to the standard in the practice of natural medicine. He also advised not to be at loggerheads with mainstream practitioners as medicine is not competition and integration is key in the modern era. He urged them to collaborate with mainstream practitioners and refer cases beyond their control to save their patients. He further admonished them to practice within their scope of practice to avert cases of medical negligence in their profession.

On their part, the president, Mr Saliue Puye, of the traditional healers thank Professor Nyarkotey for such an upliftment and recognition of their practice.  He also notes that not many people would do what Professor Nyarkotey has done for the traditional healers since he arrived in the country to pursue his legal education, but he has done more to help them get huge recognition in their trade in The Gambia and the global front. 

On behalf of the healers, Mr Puye asserts that the coming of Professor Nyarkotey to The Gambia was the light to raise awareness and introduce them to modern naturopathy. They have not heard about naturopathy and thus he was the first person to bring naturopathy to The Gambia.

2 1

About Naturopathy

According to Prof Nyarkotey, naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a system of healthcare with a deep history of traditional philosophies and practices, medically trained practitioners, and a breadth of natural treatment options to serve patients.

Touching on its history, he said, Naturopathy has been part of Germany for centuries. Many of the principles and philosophies of naturopathy originated in Germany and Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. The original naturopaths – before the 1900s – from around the world, were trained by European doctors using hydrotherapy, herbal medicine, and other traditional forms of healing.

Currently, European countries consider their practice of naturopathy as a system of healthcare that has evolved by incorporating the traditional medicine of each country with the naturopathic principles, theories, modalities, and traditions that have been codified in North America. Traditional forms of naturopathic teaching and practice are still common in Europe.

He further said, North America is considered the home of modern naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine. Most North American schools are government-accredited and all regions within North America are working toward regulation or licensure (with 50% of Canadian provinces and 38% of all states/regions in the USA regulated). There are strong national and regional naturopathic associations, ongoing naturopathic research, and specialised groups and journals to support the practice of naturopathic medicine. North America is credited with codifying the naturopathic principles and for contributing some of the established theories and practices that are now used worldwide.

Throughout its history, naturopathic medicine is introduced into a country when a naturopathic doctor that has been trained in North America or Europe moves and takes their skills with them.

There is a synthesis of European or North American training with the traditional systems of medicine in their country. For example, naturopathy was introduced to India after a medical doctor was trained by naturopaths in Europe; also those in South East Asia were originally trained in the USA.

He also said that he had an encounter with naturopathy and holistic medicine when he met a renowned naturopathic and holistic doctor in Cyprus. Today, he is a strong advocate of naturopathy in Ghana and Africa. This made the Indian Medical Association, Junior Doctors Network, Odisha, to confer on him the pioneer of modern naturopathy in Ghana.

On his part, he is infusing the European practice with the African context, thus, the name African Naturopathy in the modern era.

Prof Nyarkotey also explained that naturopathic doctors study biomedical courses and natural therapies in their accredited schools. “Two facets of professionals exist in the profession; naturopaths-those who studies close to 2,500 hours and naturopathic doctors-those who study over 4,500 credit hours and write the professional qualifying examination and are also licensed in the country to practice.  In the case of Ghana, he said, qualified naturopathic practitioners are also inducted into the healthcare system by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council, of the ministry of health.”

He further urges them to strive to attain the highest standards at the degree level to be naturopathic doctors. He congratulates them as history makers in the profession of Naturopathy in The Gambia.

Join The Conversation
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img