Having practiced homeopathy for over 25 years and also Director of a homeopathy school in San Francisco, I chose to take a sabbatical, which led me to volunteer to be Coordinator of the Ghana Homeopathy Project (GHP). I spent 8 months in Ghana, helping to start a two-three year professional training program as well as practicing and teaching homeopathy in a rural “integrative” medical clinic. Before the Ghana Homeopathy Project (based in the UK) became involved, Homeopathy Without Borders (Netherlands) had been going to Ghana for about 10 years, training some Dr’s and others in all aspects of homeopathy. The GHP continued this work, connecting with existing homeopaths and other interested parties in the country. The GHP also worked with the government in seeking appropriate recognition for homeopathy in the country and formal accreditation for the training program we designed.
During my time in Ghana, I worked with homeopaths in Accra, the capital of the country and also in Kumasi, the 2nd city in Ghana. I also worked in an integrative medical clinic in a rural area, near the border of Togo, where homeopathy is used alongside conventional medicine. This offered the local population a unique situation where a comprehensive medical service was being offered.
Working in a different culture to one’s own can be an interesting process. In homeopathy there are many ways to find a remedy and each new situation brings up certain challenges. Africa, perhaps more than many other places, offers a unique challenge, especially in rural areas where people’s lives are very different to that in the cities of Europe or North America. Aside from the obvious challenge of working in a different language and trying to gain enough information, the main challenge for us was knowing when we had enough information to go on and knowing the distinction of when to prescribe more on a specific physical or emotional cause, along with a few key symptoms, or when we had to get a more complete story, the so-called constitutional analysis, where all aspects of a person’s mental and physical health is considered. This was one of the main things that needed clarification. Also, circumstances dictated that we had to prescribe at times on little information as we didn’t have the time and/or people didn’t have any information to offer us. There was simply nothing more to be said. What to do in such circumstances. The following cases are an example some of the cases we saw and the wonders of how homeopathy works, as well as the challenges. Most of the cases are quite straight forward. We didn’t see many extremely serious cases of AIDS, typhoid or acute malaria. AIDS is not that widespread in most of West Africa. Malaria is very big problem, but most of the cases we saw were complications of recurrent “benign” malaria, not so much the very acute “malignant” variety. However, the cases reveal just how useful homeopathy can be in many of the most common conditions people experience in both rural and urban areas of Ghana and other parts of Africa. Also, it examples how “straight-ahead” homeopathy, with a good working knowledge of the main remedies for both acute and chronic conditions is mostly all one needs.