Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu:  The Naturopathic Doctor without Borders

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He is the most vilified, attacked and criticized in the Medical Community for his promotion of evidence-based alternative medicine, yet has received several international invitations as keynote speaker in Herbal and Alternative Medicines.

His work on prostate health cannot also be overlooked with several citations attached to his name in natural urology. He has helped to supervise some international Doctor of Philosophy students whose research interest is in prostate cancer.

The first Africa Alternative Medicine Conference held last week at Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region, attracted over 400 local and international delegates.

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Dr. Nyarkotey delivering his conference message

 

“I have always maintained my position that ‘Medicine has evolved and no one holds monopoly on treatment. It is only the patient who is the captain of the ship and not the physician. So let us allow patients to make their own informed decisions on treatment.

The fight for better health is a worldwide battle that some want to use to rake in billions at the expense of people dying. My work is from the heart, from a place where I personally was affected by hypertensive crisis and was immediately saved by combining allopathic drugs together with natural medicines. So advocating for integrative medicine was for me a labour of love” he said.

Dr. Nyarkotey argues that problem with people is that; they often disagree when they don’t understand. “If anyone has anything against me and he or she feels is legitimate, the person can proceed to court and I am ready to appear and answer”

He recollects when he proposed Father’s Day to be a National Prostate Cancer day and said, some medical practitioners rose up against it just because he is an alternative medical practitioner. He recalled one even referred to him as Herbalist and but he laughed at the sheer ignorance.

Years ago, he observed, the media landscape had only GTV, however along the line, it changed! Then camevibrant television stations, online, radio stationsincluding other news portals. The story he said was no different from the state dailies where the Daily Graphic and Ghanaian Times dominated, but as time went by, Daily Guide and others, mounted a strong challenge.

He then went on to cite theevolution of churches to make his point even clearer: The orthodox churches; The Roman Catholic, Presbyterian Churches et al were considered the mainstream churches. But after the death of Christ, there was a new movement starting from the book of Acts with the Holy Spirit being the central nervous system to spread the gospel to other nations. Giving birth to the charismatic movements.

“Today, we have orthodox churches incorporating charismatic services into their programs. Today, some Catholic Priests speak in tongues and cast out demons which were not done previously. It tells you one thing about the new wave of change in every sector. Each and everyone is providing an alternative service to the public. This is just the foundation of Alternative Medicine movement: Providing an alternative way to help patients and nothing else. This should not create acrimony or enmity between Allopathic, Traditional and Alternative Medicine Practitioners”.

Statistics from World Health Organization (WHO)has it that, about 80% of the world’s population resort to Traditional Alternative Medicine as their first point of call against 20% who visit mainstream facilities. So, it is therefore time to concentrate and bring science into the 80% to make it more evidence-based. Alternative medicine according to recent research, is expected to generate a revenue of USD 210.18 billion by 2026

“So Let us raise little David high enough to challenge Goliath, challenge the System and challenge the status quo. The cure for healthy living is not a luxury, it is a human need. No man should use this need to profit for their personal gains. Something is wrong when we let people die for money”, he posited.

“The fundamental focus is to distribute remarkable research work with the fundamental goal of passing on consistent understanding identified with various subjects”, he added.

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Dr. Nyarkotey Obu received the fellowship award and inducted into the Nigerian Council of Physicians Of Natural Medicines at the conference

Definition Controversies: WHO Response, 2019

The term, “integrative health” is used when discussing the incorporation of complementary approaches into conventional, mainstream health care.

Complementary medicine:  The terms “complementary medicine” and “alternative medicine” refer to a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country’s own traditional or conventional medicine and are not fully integrated into the dominant health care system. They are used interchangeably with traditional medicine in some countries.

There are many definitions of “integrative” medicine and health care, but all involve bringing conventional and complementary approaches together in a collaborative and coordinated way.

Researchers are currently exploring the potential benefits of integrative health in a variety of situations, including pain management for military personnel and veterans, relief of symptoms in cancer patients and survivors, and programs to promote healthy behaviors for the prevention of diseases.

Indigenous traditional medicine:  Indigenous traditional medicine is defined as the sum total of knowledge and practices, whether explicable or not, used in diagnosing, preventing or eliminating physical, mental and social diseases. This knowledge or practice may rely exclusively on past experience and observation handed down orally or in writing from generation to generation. These practices are native to the country in which they are practiced. The majority of indigenous traditional medicine has been practiced at the primary health care level.

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Dr. Nyarkotey with some personalities at the conference

Practices, providers, education and health insurance

In India, he said, Homeopathy practitioners study Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery for five and half years equivalent to Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and many other programmes recognized by their Ministry of AYUSH.

Also in the USA and Canada, he said, All Council on Naturopathic Medical Education-accredited naturopathic doctor schools/programs (ND programs) are primarily campus-based and typically take four years to complete. CNME-accredited ND programs qualify graduates for licensure in the U.S. and Canada.

“It is only in Ghana, that people think that alternative Medicine Practitioners, have no strong medical knowledge but it is becoming a thing of the past with the establishment of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine”.

According to a Ministry of Health (MoH) study in 1998 and WHO data from 2009, 60–79% of the population in Ghana uses indigenous Traditional Medicine. Data obtained from the Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD) issued from 2004 to 2006 provide estimates of population use for T&CM practices of 1–19% for each of the following practices: acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, therapeutic massage, traditional Chinese medicine and Unani medicine.

Herbal medicines are used by 80– 99% of the population. Indigenous Traditional Medicine providers are regulated under the national laws, which are enforced at the level of the TMPC, zonal offices, city councils and community-level associations. Providers of acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, chiropractic, herbal medicines, homeopathy, naturopathy and traditional Chinese medicine are regulated at the national level. Regulations for T&CM practitioners were updated in 2016.

According to a report from the MoH, based on a census of TMPs, 20 000 indigenous TM providers practice within Ghana. The TMPC’s national register of T&CM providers for 2009 included 12 acupuncture providers, six ayurvedic medicine providers, six chiropractic providers, 25 000 herbal medicine providers, 40 homeopathic medicine providers, 10 naturopathic medicine providers, four osteopathic providers and 12 traditional Chinese medicine providers.

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Hon. Linda Ocloo delivering her speech at the conference

 The Integrative Medicine Movement

According to the multiple awarding Naturopathic Doctor, Medical pluralism is a reality in several countries. In China, there is a traditional medicine department in every college teaching allopathic medicine and vice versa. In India, there are well documented examples of doctors of one system of medicine prescribing medication from other systems.

For example, a study conducted in KEM Hospital in Mumbai highlighted that while 99 per cent of resident doctors were not even aware of the fundamentals of ayurveda, they were prescribing medicines like Liv 52 for liver ailments. It is high time then that mechanisms are put in place for enabling this integration in medical institutions across the country.

A “bridge course” provision in the National Medical Commission Bill 2017 in India, which was introduced recently, has invited widespread debate. According to the provision, doctors of Indian systems of medicine and homoeopathy (AYUSH) will be allowed to prescribe limited allopathic medicines upon passing the course.

The NMC Bill, 2017 attempts to facilitate integration of the different systems of medicine in a much broader sense. Clause 49 of the Bill calls for a joint sitting of the NMC, CCH and CCIM, at least once a year and proposes “specific educational modules or programmes to develop bridges across the various systems of medicine”.

The president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has gone to the extent of saying that introducing the course will be equivalent to sanctioning quackery as it will create “an army of half-baked doctors”.

The president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has gone to the extent of saying that introducing the course will be equivalent to sanctioning quackery as it will create “an army of half-baked doctors”.

In the matter titled: “PoonamVerma versus Ashwin Patel, CA, the doctor said, “A person who does not have knowledge of a particular System of Medicine but practices in that System is a Quack and a mere pretender to medical knowledge or skill, or to put it differently?a Charlatan.”

Hence any alternative medicine practitioner with the right qualification, knowledge and the right license is not a quack.

In the US, Australasia and a few countries in Europe, Integrative Medicine (IM) has become a paradigm shift in the way that primary medical doctors, deliver healthcare to patients. IM offers patients more time for consultations, a self-empowered partnership with their healthcare practitioners, and a wider range of scientific evidence based treatments that are complementary to conventional medicine. Currently, there is an IM Consortium of over 50 academic health centers for integrative medicine established in association with academic hospitals in North America and three major IM centers associated with an annual European Congress of Integrative Medicine in Europe; CHAMP at Charité University of Berlin, University Of Zurich Institute of Complementary and Integrative Medicine at Zurich Hospital, Children’s Clinic for Integrative Medicine at Slotervaart Hospital Amsterdam, and  the Royal London Hospital of Integrated Medicine.

It is time for Ghana and Africa to take bold steps in achieving an integrative approach to healthcare.  It is time to do away with intellectual arrogance!

“I am always guided by this personal philosophy, which goes like this “the future you picture is the future you will feature, the ‘YOU’ you see is the ‘YOU’ you will become. Therefore, picture a great future to feature and desire a great ‘YOU’ to become and the almighty God will see to it that you have featured in the future you have pictured and have become the YOU, you have desired”

Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine.

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The college being the first ever Naturopathic Medical School has started a serious public awareness on alternative medicines. The college is fully accredited by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council of the Ministry of Health. Within one year of operations, it has gained solid grounds with conferences and promotions of Natural medicines and training of quality Naturopathic Physicians. The college offers four Year Advanced Professional Naturopathic Medicine which is equivalent to the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in the USA and Canada with one year residency programme.

The college is affiliated to Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus and The University of America

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Some Naturopathic Medical Students at NyarkooteyColege of Holistic Medicine with Hon. Linda Ocloo

RNG Medicine Research Lab

Today, as a scientist, innovator and researcher, his research into prostate cancer and Natural Medicine has led to the establishment of the RNG Medicine Research Lab, at Tema Community 18. The center is the first in the country to focus on research into prostate cancer and natural medicines. His research has led to three products which have passed analytical tests at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and are now available on the market at all leading pharmacy shops in the Ghana.

The products are: Men’s Formula for Prostate Health, Women’s Formula for Breast and General Women’s Health and Nyarkotey Tea for Cardiovascular Health.  His prostate product has fourteen ingredients and Bioenergized which is a novelty from the other prostate products on the Ghanaian and world Markets. His charity, The Men’s Health Foundation Ghana, has screened over fifty thousand Men of prostate diseases and started pushing for fathers’ Day to become a National Prostate cancer Day under John Mahama’s government.

Traditional and Alternative Medicine Bill

Dr. Nyarkotey has called on the government to pass the Traditional and Alternative Medicine bill 2018 to help establish the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Council. He said, the passage of the bill, would help streamline the industry to grow the economy.

About Dr. Nyarkotey Obu:

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Dr. Nyarkotey Obu has defied all odds from an obscureDangme land in Ghana, toglobally recognized individual through hardwork and determination, winning him the prestigious 40 under 40 Achievers Awards in the education category. He is a CNBC AABLA 2018 West Africa Innovator of the Year Finalist, Sandton South Africa, AIDF Africa Innovator of the Year Finalist, Nairobi, Kenya, 2019. He received the honorary title” ‘The Name in Science ‘Award by the Academic Union of Oxford, London, in April 2019.

‘The Named in Science’ showed admiration to his research and academic brilliance in the field of prostate cancer and natural medicine research. Nomination of candidates for the International Award in the field of scientific researches ‘The Name in Science’ is given to scientific teams, scientific societies, authorities, public organizations, business structures, scientists, politicians and public figures who have significant scientific breakthroughs under their belts.

He is a renowned and Ghana’s leading Holistic Medical Practitioner, who has specialized in Prostate cancer and Men’s Health issues. The story of Prostate cancer research and Natural Medicine in Ghana and Africa cannot be told without his name.  He is a young man of many parts: Scholar, science writer, innovator, inventor, scientist, author, columnist, researcher, medical entrepreneur, change maker, leader and a theologian.

He is a frequent traveler and speaker at universities, churches, conferences onprostate cancer and Holistic Medicine. Dr. Nyarkotey at the age of 33,established Africa’s First Alternative Medicine College; Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine, affiliated to Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus. His medical profession started as a professionally trained medical Sonographer from Radford University College, Ghana, with a special interest in Urological ultrasound and power Doppler.

His prostate cancer pathway started after he studied the first ever Master’s programme in Prostate cancer at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He was recognized as one of the most successful students by the alumni connects office of Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

Dr. Nyarkotey completed his PhD in Alternative Medicine at the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine, Kolkata, India, and had his Postdoctoral training in Holistic Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine under the supervision of Dr. George Georgiou where he researched into the Hibiscus plant fortreatment of prostate cancer. He is a fellow of the African Young Leaders Fellowship Program (AYLFP) and also holds Executive Mini-MBA in Leadership and Management from the Accra Business School.

Dr. Nyarkotey is a fellow of the Nigerian Council of Physicians of Natural Medicine, Member of the Boardroom Institute, Life Member of the Scholars Academic and Society (SAS), India and won the SAS Best International Traditional Medicine Researcher, 2019, Guwahati, Assam, India.

Dr. Nyarkotey is also a member of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), Prostate cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC) Scientist, University of Florida, USA, African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), International Academy of Ethnomedicine (INTA-EMED), Asaba, Delta State.

He has published over four hundred articles in leading Ghanaian newspapers and scientific Journals and was appointed a Research Professor of Prostate cancer and HolisticMedicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, larnaca city, Cyprus. He was also appointed an editorial board member by the Logos University in US in the journal “Fenix of 21th century” scientific journal”.

As a columnist with the Chronicle Newspaper, his column is highly read on Fridays and close to two million readers, haveaccessed them on modernghana.com.He started the Ghana Alternative Medicine Journal (GAMJ), to publish scholarly papers in the field of alternative medicine.

Oheneba Ntim Barima of Oman FM describedhim as a “Brilliant young Man” and “wondered why he should he be hiding “when he met him the first time.  His book on prostate health is used by Oheneba NtimBarimah to educatethe public on prostate health.

He led a consortium of cancer group to meet the first lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo to discuss the cancer situation in Ghana. He went further to establish the first Newspaper in the Dangme Land; Dangme Newspaper, a community newspaper. Dr. Nyarkotey, is a beckon and a shining of Dangme resilience, hope and role model for the GaAdangme Youth.  He was appointed the National President of the Alternative Medical Association of Ghana (AMAG) to help promote natural medicine.

Upon all the criticism and challenges, he has excelled in his journey to the top. His confidence, tenacity, boldness, zeal, communication skills made the MC at the 40 under 40 awards ceremony, Jerry Adjololo describe him as a ‘future politician’ in his next life. He is a Christian who worships at the Holy Ghost Temple of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), Adenta-Fafraha.

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