Health, Culture & Society

Peter Ventevogel

Whiteman’s things. Training and detraining healers in Ghana.

Amsterdam: Spinhuis, 1996
ISBN 90-5589-046-4

Much has been written about training traditional healers and collaborating with them in formal health care. Publications reporting on specific projects and experiments usually deal with their hopeful beginning and are full of optimism. Hardly anything is known, however, about the outcome of such programmes.

Peter Ventevogel’s study is an exception. It critically examines what happened to healers who participated in one of the most famous training programmes for indigeneous healers, the PRHETHI Programme in Techiman, Ghana. His research, more than ten years after the project was terminated, shows that there are important lessons to be learned from both the successes and the failures of such training programmes.

This book should be read by health policy makers and by all those who are involved in the planning, execution and study of health care in developing countries.

Peter Ventevogel is an anthropologist and a medical doctor. He is specialized in psychiatry.