By Jeffrey Thompson
A college dedicated to champion alternative medicine in Ghana has been established. The college known as Dr. Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine is located at Tema community 7 Post office and is affiliated to Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine in Larnaca city, Cyprus which is rated amongst the top five holistic Medical schools in the United States according to the Inforbarrel.
According to Dr. Raphael NyarkoteyObu who is also a Research Professor of Prostate cancer and Alternative Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, the college aims to promote, provides workshops, seminars, public lectures, train practitioners in the field of holistic medicine, research into evidence-based alternative medicine to bring it to the public domain.
Dr. Nyarkotey aims to use the college to build the public trust in alternative medicine. The college is expected to launch the first Ghana Holistic Medical Journal soon to publish works in alternative medicine. The college will also organize scientific papers writing methods for traditional and alternative medicine practitioners. He also said the college will educate practitioners on the importance of product patents and what it takes to have their product patented.
Alternative Medicine Definition
According to Dr. Nyarkotey, Nature is the defining metaphor for many alternative medicines. There is a science in alternative medicine and lots of researches have been done in this faculty of alternative medicine. Medicine in itself is imperfect science because science itself is not perfect!
When people use alternative medicine, “the scientific enterprise” does not have to be abandoned. Twenty years ago, not many physicians would have advised patients to take such things as folic acid, vitamins or minerals. Thirty years ago, acupuncture and mind-body healing were considered taboo. Now, in clinics and hospitals around the country, non-traditional therapies are becoming more acceptable, as many studies prove them to be successful in treating some chronic diseases, which couldn’t be cured by conventional medicine
Alternative Medical Practitioners education.
According to Dr. Nyarkotey, it is rather unfortunate people think that practitioners of alternative medicines are not well-trained or do not even also go to medical schools. According to him, Training depends on Jurisdiction and accreditation of schools also varies. Some are voluntary.
In Cyprus, for instance, the Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus which is registered under the laws of Gibraltar and accredited by four holistic medicine bodies such as: The Pastoral Medical Association in the USA, Complementary Medical Association (CMA) in the UK, as well as the Affiliation of Ethical and Professional Therapists (AEPT) in the UK. It also has obtained full professional board accreditation from the American Association of Drugless Practitioners in the USA.
According to him, The Da Vinci College operates a modular degree system by which degrees are obtained via a process of credit accumulation. For instance, The Doctor of Science in Holistic Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus consists of many separate modular courses covering a whole spectrum of health topics – each of these modular courses is a stand-alone and can be taken as an individual Diploma Course with Certification. Da vinci college have courses such as homeopathy, Naturopathy, Clinical Nutrition, Naturopathic Sexology, Bach flower remedy, Herbal Medicine and many more.
Answering to the question on what some people termed the practice as quackery, Dr. Nyarkotey demystified that notion. According to him in India, The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in the matter titled as “Poonam Verma versus Ashwin Patel, CA No. 8856/1994 dated 10.05.1996 has held that:
“A person who does not have knowledge of a particular System of Medicine but practices in that System is a Quack and a mere pretender to medical knowledge or skill, or to put it differently, a Charlatan.” In view of the above landmark judgment, it is stated that the person who possesses recognized qualification / knowledge of a particular system of medicine is only authorized to practice in that particular system of medicine. If a person practices in any other system of medicine of which he does not possesses recognized qualification / knowledge, then that person would be considered as a quack i.e. a mere pretender to medical knowledge or skill, or a charlatan. So with this definition according to Dr. Nyarkotey any alternative medicine practitioner with the right qualification, knowledge and the right license and registration from the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC) the regulators of the practice is not a quack.
This he said alternative practitioners should understand this definition and improve themselves with the right qualification and knowledge in the field to be able to practice without fears and this is one of the significant and motivate factor he established the Dr. Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine to help the public and the government with the right policies and definition in the field.
Legality of the system of Alternative Medicines
In Ghana he said, Alternative Medicine is regulated by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC) of the Ministry of Health. It is rather unfortunate that lots of people do not know the body that regulates the practice. In other countries such as India, the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines is a Government registered institution Registered by the Government of West Bengal under Act XXVI based on the Central Government Act XXI of 1860. The Indian board of Alternative medicine has won several court cases in India challenging it legality to provide alternative medicine education.
Interestingly, according to Dr. Nyarkotey, Recently in India a new proposal Bill, that is aimed to regulate medical education in the country by replacing corruption tainted Medical Council with a National Medical Commission, has introduced the concept of “Bridge Course” to promote medical pluralism by allowing AYUSH doctors to practice allopathy. It tells you how other countries are placing priority on alternative medicine.
Dr. Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine
According to Dr. Raphael NyarkoteyObu, the college is here to help streamline the alternative medicine industry and bring hope and confidence to the general public. The college will be bringing international experts in the field for public lectures in alternative medicine and job opportunities in this field.
The college will be use as a center for public and institutional information regarding alternative medicine. It will also provide Da Vinci College of holistic medicine accredited courses in all fields of holistic medicine.
He finally charged practitioners to exhibit high level of professionalism to build public trust and ask the public to take courses in holistic medicine as it is an emerging and interesting field. He asked the media to seek more information on alternative medicine from the college located at Temacommunity seven post office.
Dr. Nyarkotey is the National President of the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana (AMAG), graduated from the IBAM Academy in Kolkata with Doctor of Philosophy in Alternative Medicine with research interest in prostate cancer. He studied the Master’s program in Prostate cancer at the Sheffield Hallam University, UK and had his Postdoctoral program at Da vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus. He haswon severalawards for the crusade against prostate cancer and as a holistic Medical Practitioner who has conducted several researches into Naturopathic Urology.
He is also a Member of the Prostate cancer Transatlantic Consortium, a firm researching into prostate cancer in West Africa men. He is a prolific writer and publishes over four hundred articles on prostate cancer and alternative medicine and a columnist in the Chronicle Newspaper.