In Ghana, most health care is provided by the government and largely administered by the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service. The healthcare system has five levels of providers: health posts which are first level primary care for rural areas, health centers and clinics, district hospitals, regional hospitals and tertiary hospitals.
Ghana has a Universal Health Care system, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and until the establishment of the National Health Insurance Scheme, many people died because they did not have money to pay for their health care needs when they were taken ill. The system of health which operated was known as the “Cash and Carry” system. Under this system, the health need of an individual was only attended to after initial payment for the service was made. Even in cases when patients had been brought into the hospital on emergencies, it was required that money was paid at every point of service delivery. When the country returned to democratic rule in 1992, its health care sector started seeing improvements in terms of:
- Service delivery
- Human resource improvement
- Public education about health condition
Even with these initiatives in place, many still could not access health care services because of the cash and carry system.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common diseases in Ghana include those endemic to sub-Saharan African countries, particularly: cholera, typhoid, pulmonary tuberculosis, anthrax, pertussis, tetanus, chicken pox, yellow fever, measles, infectious hepatitis, trachoma, malaria, HIV and schistosomiasis. Though not as common, other regularly treated diseases include dracunculiasis, dysentery, river blindness or onchocerciasis, several kinds of pneumonia, dehydration, veneral diseases, and poliomyelitis.
Herbal Treatment: Herbalism (also herbal medicine or phytotherapy) is the study of botany and use of plants intended for medicinal purposes or for supplementing a diet. Plants have been the basis for medical treatments through much of human history, and such traditional medicine is still widely practiced today. Modern medicine recognizes herbalism as a form of alternative medicine and pseudoscience, as the practice of herbalism is not strictly based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. Modern medicine makes use of many plant-derived compounds as the basis for evidence-based pharmaceutical drugs. Although phytotherapy may apply modern standards of effectiveness testing to herbs and medicines derived from natural sources, few high-quality clinical trials and standards for purity or dosage exist. The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts.
Volunteers who are interested to acquire herbal treatment knowledge would be entreated. However, he/she would be taught on how to give first aid at the Agricultural Farms and/or herbal facilities when someone gets injured. This is by the use of the herbs at the farms. Each herb has its own cure to a specific disease whereas others may serve to cure more than just one disease. Herbalist would be provided to lecture and guide volunteers through all the processes involved in using herbs as first aid at the farms. This would help volunteers to learn the African way of giving first aid at the farms.
Health Education: this is strongly vital in the lives of children. Though this improvement in children’s health has also been witnessed in Ghana, it has been slow and unevenly distributed across the country. We educate marginalized communities on maternal health and communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, hepatitis A and B, measles, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases and rabies among others. However, the influence of maternal education on child health in Ghana is largely unknown and as a result, child health policies in Ghana have ignored maternal education.