What is it about?

This paper explores the effect of wealth and health insurance status on the use of traditional medicine among older adults in Ghana.

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Why is it important?

In this paper, we provided evidence of the factors associated with TM use among older Ghanaians. This understanding is important because it provides useful information that can be incorporated into the broader discussion of strategies to improve primary health care access from the perspective of older people’s health utilization behaviours. The findings from our study demonstrate that TM is a popular source of access to health care among uninsured and older persons with lower incomes. This reiterates the need to improve NHIS coverage for poor older persons and calls for the need to regulate TM and incorporate it into the broader health care system. This will go a long way to protect the poor and uninsured older people from seeking treatment from unlicensed TM practitioners.


The existence of quack healers, untested or counterfeit TM remedies pose a danger to the uninsured and lower-income older adults who depend on TM for primary health care and other health needs. Regulation of TM practices and products in Ghana, like most SSA countries, remains a challenge – providing justification for their current exclusion from public health delivery under the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Prince Michael Amegbor
Aarhus Universitet

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Modern or traditional health care? Understanding the role of insurance in health-seeking behaviours among older Ghanaians, Primary Health Care Research & Development, January 2019, Cambridge University Press,
DOI: 10.1017/s1463423619000197.
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