The Role of Divination in Health Seeking Practices in The Talensi-Nabdam District of Northern Ghana

ABSTRACT

In spite of the available modern technologies for dealing with ill-health, many people continue to resort to divination in the search for therapy. The persistence of the practice of divination in health seeking suggests that there is a considerable use derived from its practice. Against this background this study was conducted to assess the extent to which divination influences health-seeking behaviour as people utilise modern healthcare facilities in the Talensi-Nabdam district in Northern Ghana, findings of which could provide clues to some barriers to healthcare delivery and utilization in Ghana at large. A mixed-method approach involving Focus Group Discussions with community elders, indepth interviews with practicing diviners and experienced healthcare practitioners, and a community survey using a questionnaire was used. Analysis involved triangulation of both the qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data was analysed by importing verbatim transcripts of all interviews and discussions into Nvivo-7 software, while quantitative analyses involved logistic regression procedures, using Stata-10 software. The use of divination in health seeking was found to be significantly correlated with age, sex, marital status, number of wives possessed by men, number of children, level of education and religious affiliation. Findings also suggest that on the pathway between symptoms recognition and therapy options divination is often employed to pin down supernatural and other causes of misfortunes and ill-health and to determine the appropriate patterns of resort. Patients with such diseases as burns, boils, anthrax, and snakebites tend to consult diviners first as they believe these conditions are of spiritual or supernatural origin. Diviners don’t consider themselves as healers, but rather consider themselves merely as custodians of the spiritual conduits by which people can find out the causes of ill-health and other misfortunes from the spiritual and ancestral world in order to determine the course of action. v The findings have implications for healthcare service and utilization: delays in seeking and utilising modern healthcare services and the tendency for patients asking for “discharge against medical advice” to enable alternative treatment at home, as well as reasons for treatment failures at modern healthcare facilities. It is proposed that a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model should be integrated into clinical care of patients at modern healthcare facilities especially in diagnostic interviews and treatment regimes of patients. Collaboration between the Ghana Health Service and diviners together with other magico-religious healthcare practitioners could facilitate incorporation of this model into medical and nursing training curricular. 

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APA

AZONGO, T (2021). The Role of Divination in Health Seeking Practices in The Talensi-Nabdam District of Northern Ghana. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/the-role-of-divination-in-health-seeking-practices-in-the-talensi-nabdam-district-of-northern-ghana

MLA 8th

AZONGO, THOMAS "The Role of Divination in Health Seeking Practices in The Talensi-Nabdam District of Northern Ghana" Afribary. Afribary, 10 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/the-role-of-divination-in-health-seeking-practices-in-the-talensi-nabdam-district-of-northern-ghana. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

AZONGO, THOMAS . "The Role of Divination in Health Seeking Practices in The Talensi-Nabdam District of Northern Ghana". Afribary, Afribary, 10 Apr. 2021. Web. 19 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/the-role-of-divination-in-health-seeking-practices-in-the-talensi-nabdam-district-of-northern-ghana >.

Chicago

AZONGO, THOMAS . "The Role of Divination in Health Seeking Practices in The Talensi-Nabdam District of Northern Ghana" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 19, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/the-role-of-divination-in-health-seeking-practices-in-the-talensi-nabdam-district-of-northern-ghana