A Historical Review of Diseases and Disease Prevention in Gold Coast: A Focus on Asante (1900-1957)

SAMUEL ADU-GYAMFI, Wilhelmina J. Donkoh


The history of any community cannot be written without paying attention to the issues that shaped the lives of the people. One of the pertinent issues in history has been disease infestation and how it has been prevented or cured. From the earliest time, man has faced the challenge of meeting his health needs. The constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “the state of physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.[1] This definition underlines health as an integral part of what a people need in order to realize their full potential and derive satisfaction from life. Oral traditions have shown that the people of Kumase and Asante as a whole faced the challenge of providing health care from very early times. In fact, all humans have in one way or the other shown resilience in fighting anything that has the potential of threatening their existence including diseases.

[1] D. Longley, Health Care Constitutions, (London: Cavendish Publishing Ltd, 1996) 1

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