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There has emerged in Ghana, and in some other African countries, traditional medical practitioners (TMPs) who have diversified their practice of traditional medicine (TM) by integrating other medical traditions. Using the practice of a family of bonesetters in Kaneshie, Accra, as an example, this paper shows the transformations that are taking place within the field and TM’s place in healthcare delivery in Ghana. TMPs are now diagnosing diseases and ailments by modern methods of diagnosis, such as ultrasound, X-ray, blood and urine tests, scans, and other laboratory tests; and they use biomedical techniques such as injections and drips as part of treatment. The paper suggests that in Ghana, the emergence of TMPs who have diversified their practices has come about largely because of the government’s policy guidelines that emphasize the herbal and scientific aspects of TM, and which deemphasize TM’s religious component. It also highlights some of the challenges that TMPs confront today in their practice as a result of the government’s policy guidelines. TMPs confront the challenges of weaning TM practice of its mystical/religious component, which impacts unfavorably on TM practice as it loses its attractiveness and significance to many Africans whose sense of healing is both physical and spiritual (holistic healing); the high costs of establishing and running the herbal facilities and often the inadequate financial resources of practitioners; the challenge of massive production and sales of all kinds of inferior and unsafe herbal medicines (in the name of new discoveries) by quacks, whose activities undermine the work of genuine practitioners; the possible decline of patronage by clients due to the high treatment charges at the facilities. The paper thus situates itself in the context of the discussions on TM and its practice in Ghana today.


Traditional medicine herbalist herbal clinic herbal treatment bonesetting Ghana

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How to Cite
Owoahene-Acheampong, S. (2023). Transformations in Traditional Medicine Practice: An Example from the Practice of a Family of Bonesetters in Accra. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies and Innovative Research, 11(2), 1–10.


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