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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 717926, 10 pages
Research Article

Relationship between Health Insurance Status and the Pattern of Traditional Medicine Utilisation in Ghana

Complementary and Alternative Therapy Research Unit, Department of Geography and Rural Development, PMB, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Received 3 May 2015; Revised 27 June 2015; Accepted 21 July 2015

Academic Editor: Jenny M. Wilkinson

Copyright © 2015 Razak Mohammed Gyasi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper examines the relationship between national health insurance status and the pattern of traditional medicine (TRM) use among the general population in Ghana. A retrospective cross-sectional survey of randomly sampled adults, aged ≥18 years (), was conducted. The results indicate that TRM use was high with prevalence of over 86%. The study found no statistically significant association between national health insurance status and TRM utilisation (). Paradoxically, major sources of TRM, frequency of TRM use, comedical administration, and disclosure of TRM use to health care professionals differed significantly between the insured and uninsured subgroups (). Whereas effectiveness of TRM predicted its use for both insured [odds ratio (OR) = 4.374 (confidence interval (CI): 1.753–10.913; )] and uninsured [OR = 3.383 CI: 0.869–13.170; )], work experience predicted TRM use for the insured [OR = 1.528 (95% CI: 1.309–1.900; )]. Cultural specific variables and health philosophies rather than health insurance status may influence health care-seeking behaviour and TRM use. The enrollment of herbal-based therapies on the national health insurance medicine plan is exigent to ensure monitoring and rational use of TRM towards intercultural health care system in Ghana.