Prof. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, a Ghanaian Naturopathic Professor who is currently studying for the Barrister at Law course at the Gambia Law School, Banjul, has been honoured by the National Traditional Healers Association of The Gambia (TRAHASS).
He was honoured for his tremendous contributions to the traditional healthcare industry in the Gambia during his legal education at the Gambia Law School at the recently ended 1st National Conference on Traditional and Alternative Medicine dubbed ‘Legislative Regulation of Traditional and Alternative Complementary Medicine Practitioners in the Gambia: A Tool for Recognition in the Healthcare System’, under the auspices of the National Traditional Healers Association of The Gambia (TRAHASS).
The event was held at the Gambia College, Brikama, and attracted over 500 healers across the country and abroad to deliberate on the need and importance of legislation in the Gambia.
His recognition was a result of his contribution to pushing for national legislation on traditional medicine in the Gambia. He also provided a scholarship package worth US$10,000 to the traditional healers to pursue a diploma programme in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine at the Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicine & Technology, Ashaiman, Ghana. The college is also an educational member of the World Naturopathic Federation (WNF), Canada.
For decades, traditional healers in the Gambia have been fighting for national recognition in the healthcare system, but all their efforts proved futile. The healers were grateful for Professor Nyarkotey’s upliftment and recognition of their practice. The citation to the award signed by the president, reads:
“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. In the end, leaders are much like eagles. They don’t flock, you find them one at a time.
The Gambia is blessed at this time to find you push for National Legislation on Traditional & Alternative Medicine during your days as an aspiring Barrister. Also, despite your tedious legal training at the Gambia Law School, Banjul, you devoted your time to supporting the traditional healers to become the first-ever Modern Naturopaths in the Gambia. On this 1st July, 2023, we confer on you Prof. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu ‘The Trailblazer and Father of Modern Naturopathy Development Award in the Gambia.”
Professor Nyarkotey expresses appreciation to the healers for their recognition and promised to make Gambia his home. Delivering the keynote address, he avers that medicine is not competition. Hence, there is no need for conventional and natural healers to be at loggerheads. He calls for collaboration in the healthcare system. Also, he explains that legislation will go a long way to enhance standardisation. Touching on the national draft bill on traditional medicine, he supports the idea of the restriction on the use of the title doctor by traditional healers without having sound academic training.
Prof. Nyarkotey said natural healthcare tends to improve the economy with legislation.
On his part, the President of TRAHASS, Saliue Puye, confirmed that Professor Nyarkotey is God-sent to the Gambia to help the healers as well to come to the limelight. Thus, the healers also show appreciation to the Gambia Law School for admitting Prof. Nyarkotey to pursue his legal education in the Gambia, leading to the huge development of the traditional healers in the Gambia.
The healers, in their citation signed by the President to the Gambia Law School, Banjul, thanked the school “for your valuable insight to bring the renowned Naturopathic Professor, Raphael Nyarkotey Obu to the Gambia Law School to pursue his legal education and to contribute to the development of modern Natural Medicine and legislation in the Gambia”.
Professor Nyarkotey promised the natural medicine healers that he will use his legal training at the Gambia Law School to help develop the practice in the healthcare industry on the African continent as a whole.