Homeopathy in Africa

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.

Homeopathy in Africa: Part 1

African Cases

When prescribing in rural clinics, getting feedback about the action of a remedy is not always easy. People generally only come when they need to. Others are nomads who may not be around next time. Therefore, some of the cases are more anecdotal in nature. However, they still example the process of taking cases in villages in Ghana, as well as in urban clinics.

Homeopathy in Africa: Part 2

We returned from a rural area about 3 hours outside Accra where we were supporting a homeopathic clinic which is part of a larger clinic offering health care to a number of villages in the region. Even though it’s not far from Accra, there is still no electricity in many villages, including the village where the clinic is. From there, we took a battered old Land Rover, at least 25 years old, and traveled to many other villages, over rutted dirt roads which are often impassable in the rains. Many of the villages are therefore cut off from any larger communities and people often have to walk many miles to get supplies or if they need health care. Even when the roads are passable, there is little public transport for people so often we get people walking 5-10-15 miles to come to the clinic. We are now trying to get out to certain villages and see patients from as many surrounding villages as possible, so our outreach is as broad as possible.

Homeopathy in Africa: Part 3

Case One:

We had a case come back that we had given Stannum to one month ago. She came with this chronic cough which was worse for exertion, bending forward and any walking at all. She would hold her chest when coughing and would get a headache from it. She could cough non-stop it seemed for hours. She was extremely short of breathing made < by the least exertion and by coughing. The cough was dry, with little expectoration brought up. I suspected she had bronchietasis. This was not just a simple cough and therefore the remedy had to cover the depth of the pathology. From this description I suspected Stannum and so asked a leading question. I wondered whether she had a hollow sensation in the chest. She said she did and for me that was enough. One month later, she is doing much better. She still coughs some but her breathing is better and she can walk further than before. I told her it would take six months to really make a difference and that she should come back each month for more medicine.

Homeopathy in Africa: Part 4

Case One:

A 40 year old woman came two months ago with bleeding from the rectum and vagina. It is worse when she has general body pains and has been happening for 10 years. She said the bleeding used to be profuse but not connected to the menses. The blood can be both bright and dark, with clots at times. She said the bleeding from the rectum comes in clots and is more profuse. When it comes it can last two weeks, whereas the bleeding in the vagina lasts only 3 days. She has piles in the rectum. The bleeding is worse when she gets a severe backache which she does before her period each month. She said it is a bursting pain.

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