Ghana’s first Twi herbal medicine glossary published

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The book will promote effective collaboration between traditional and orthodox health workers

Ghanaian society is known to rely primarily on traditional health services for its primary health care needs. It is known that more than eighty percent of the population regularly uses traditional health care services. Typical of them are herbal medicines.

The practice of herbal medicine has undergone changes over the years to meet the health needs of Ghanaians. For example, the practice is now regulated by a council within the Department of Health known as the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC), and drugs are subject to scientific review before FDA certification.

There is also the Directorate of Traditional and Alternative Medicine (TAMD) and a Phytotherapy Bachelor Program created by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to train physicians with special knowledge in herbal medicine.

A major advocacy that has existed for a long time is effective collaboration between traditional practitioners and orthodox health workers. This collaboration can only be successful if health workers understand the language of practice of the traditional healer.

It is in light of this that the book “Twi Herbal Medicine Glossary” was developed to fill this gap.

The 131-page book is a collection of commonly used medicinal plants, their families, indications, and names in Twi and English. It serves as a reference source for researchers, health workers, students and traditional physicians.

The authors of the book are Mr. Clifford Asare and Mr. Cephas Kwaku Debrah. Mr. Clifford Asare is a long-time technician in the KNUST Department of Herbal Medicine. He has years of experience in the practice of herbal medicine and has been instrumental in the on-the-job training of herbal medicine students. Dr. Asare has contributed to extensive plant medicine research in Ghana and beyond.

Mr. Cephas Kwaku Debrah, co-author, is a phytotherapy intern (Plant Medicine Research Center-Akuapem-Mampong), researcher, international writer, freelance journalist and columnist on the main Ghanaian news portals.

As a former Outreach Coordinator for the Association of Medical Students of Ghana, Mr. Debrah is passionate about promoting Ghanaian traditional medicine and is a strong advocate for collaboration between Orthodox physicians and traditional healers for the well-being of patients. Mr. Debrah is currently Public Relations Manager for Medical Herbalist Trainees and National Service Staff Associations (MHINSPA).

The book is currently available in electronic and paper format where those interested can shop online or visit the Department of Herbal Medicine, KNUST for a copy.


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