By News Desk
A renowned Ghanaian Naturopathic Professor, who is currently studying at the Gambia Law School, has been honoured by the National Traditional Healers Association of The Gambia (TRAHASS) for his tremendous contributions to the traditional healthcare industry in The Gambia.
Professor Nyarkotey received his award at the 1st National Conference on Traditional and Alternative Medicine, dubbed “Legislative Regulation of Traditional and Alternative Complementary Medicine Practitioners in The Gambia: A Tool for Recognition in the Healthcare System”, under the auspices of TRAHASS.
The event was held at the Gambia College and attracted over 500 healers across the country and abroad to deliberate on the need and importance of legislation in the Gambia.
His recognition was a result of his contribution to pushing for National legislation on traditional medicine in The Gambia. He also provided a scholarship package worth $10,000 to the traditional healers to pursue a diploma programme in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine at the Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicine & Technology, Ashaiman, Ghana. The College is also an educational member of the World Naturopathic Federation (WNF), Canada.
For decades, traditional healers in The Gambia have been fighting for national recognition in the healthcare system, but all their efforts proved futile. The healers were grateful for Professor Nyarkotey’s upliftment and recognition of their practise. The citation to the award, signed by the president, reads: “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader but becomes one through the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. In the end, leaders are much like eagles. They don’t flock; you find them one at a time. The Gambia is blessed at this time to find that you pushed for National Legislation on Traditional and Alternative Medicine during your days as an aspiring Barrister. Also, despite your tedious legal training at the Gambia Law School, you devoted your time to supporting the traditional healers to become the first-ever Modern Naturopaths in The Gambia. On this 1st July 2023, we confer on you Prof Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, the Trailblazer and Father of Modern Naturopathy Development Award in The Gambia.”
For his part, Professor Nyarkotey expresses appreciation to the healers for their recognition and promises to make Gambia his home. Delivering the keynote address, he avers that medicine is not competition. Hence, there is no need for conventional and natural healers to be at loggerheads. He calls for collaboration in the healthcare system. He said legislation will go a long way towards enhancing standardisation. Touching on the National Draft Bill on Traditional Medicine, he supports the idea of a restriction on the use of the title Doctor by traditional healers without sound academic training.
Prof Nyarkotey said natural healthcare tends to improve the economy through legislation.
The President of TRAHASS, Mr Saliue Puye, said that Professor Nyarkotey is God sent to The Gambia to help the healers come to the limelight as well. “Thus, the healers also show appreciation to the Gambia Law School for admitting Prof Nyarkotey to pursue his legal education in The Gambia, which has led to the huge development of the traditional healers in the country,” he said.