The State and Practice of African Traditional Medicine among the Ewe of Ghana:Contemporary Challenges and Prospects

Samuel Bewiadzi Akakpo ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.3  No.10 October 2022  Article 2 pp. 433-446
DOI: |   Published online 7th October 2022.
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


In spite of the presence of modern healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and health centers, coupled with well advanced modern medical technology, many people in Ghana continue to patronize traditional medicine. Using the qualitative approach, this study investigates the state and practice of traditional medicine among the Ewe of Ghana in contemporary times. In the first place, the study reviews literature on traditional medicine and African healing systems. Secondly, the study discusses the methodological framework. In addition, the study explores the state and practice of traditional medicine among the Ewe of Ghana, focusing on the ethnography of diseases, the topography of traditional medicine practitioners, and the prospects and challenges of the practice of traditional medicine in contemporary times. Data collection instruments such as interviews and observations were used to collect primary data. The study finds that traditional medicine contributes to alternative medicine, saves people from disabilities, and ensures the affordability of healthcare. However, it has been bedeviled with challenges such as the problem of licensing, lack of association, destruction of medicinal herbs, and infrastructural problems. The study concludes that traditional medicine continues to play a major role in healthcare delivery among the Ewe of Ghana in spite of the presence of modern healthcare systems. More significant is the fact that the study contributes to knowledge in the field of medical anthropology and Ewe ethno-medical history.

Keywords: African Traditional Medicine, African Healing Systems, State and Practice, Ewe, Challenges and Prospects

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Samuel Bewiadzi Akakpo is a faculty of the Department of General and Liberal Studies, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Volta Region. He holds a Master of Philosophy (African Studies) and Bachelor of Arts degree in African Studies from both the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana and Center for African and International Affairs, University of Cape Coast. He is currently a final year PhD Candidate at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana. His research interests span history and politics, chieftaincy, governance and development, borders and borderland studies, economic and livelihoods research, and medical anthropology. He has published in reputable journals both in and outside Ghana. Some of his publications featured in Ghana Journal of Social Science, West African Journal of Applied Ecology, Ife Journal of History, Tertiary Education Series, and Research Journal in Advanced Humanities among others. His current publications featured in Journal of Borderland Studies and World Journal of Education and Humanities. He has a number of book chapters in edited volumes to his credit.

Akakpo S.B. The State and Practice of African Traditional Medicine among the Ewe of Ghana: Contemporary Challenges and Prospects,” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 3, no.10 (2022):433-446.

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (