Integrating biomedical and herbal medicine in Ghana: experiences from the Kumasi South Hospital: a qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Background: Over the past decade there has been growing interest in the use of herbal medicine both in developed and developing countries. Given the high proportion of patients using herbal medicine in Ghana, some health facilities have initiated implementation of herbal medicine as a component of their healthcare delivery. However, the extent to which herbal medicine has been integrated in Ghanaian health facilities, how integration is implemented and perceived by different stakeholders has not been documented. The study sought to explore these critical issues at the Kumasi South Hospital (KSH) and outline the challenges and motivations of the integration process.
Methods: Qualitative phenomenological exploratory study design involving fieldwork observations, focus group discussion, in-depth interviews and key informants’ interviews was employed to collect data.
Results: Policies and protocols outlining the definition, process and goals of integration were lacking, with respondents sharing different views about the purpose and value of integration of herbal medicine within public health facilities. Key informants were supportive of the initiative. Whilst biomedical health workers perceived the system to be parallel than integrated, health personnel providing herbal medicine perceived the system as integrated. Most patients were not aware of the herbal clinic in the hospital but those who had utilized services of the herbal clinic viewed the clinic as part of the hospital.
Conclusions: The lack of a regulatory policy and protocol for the integration seemed to have led to the different perception of the integration. Policy and protocol to guide the integration are key recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number189
JournalB M C Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2016

    Research areas

  • Herbal medicine, Biomedicine, Integration, Qualitative research, Ghana

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 164210929