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No Formal Education, Yet a Doctor


2006-01-29 10:59:20
This article has been read 1478 times.


Salamatu Taimako
An eminent indigenous herbal practitioner, an accomplished traditional medicine practitioner, an environment, an illustrious entrepreneur, a role model, a philanthropist and a friend of the poor and marginalised rural folk.
These were contained in a citation for the conferment of an honorary doctorate degree on Hajia Salamatu Ibrahim Taimako, a prominent herbal medicine practitioner in Tamale.

The University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale conferred the degree on her during a congregation of the university in Tamale in February 2004.

At the tender age of 10, little Salamatu Taimako was receiving tutelage in herbal medicine from her mother. Even though she did not receive formal education, she successfully completed the reading of the Holy Quran and other Islamic scriptures at a tender age.

The amiable and insightful Hajia Taimako began actual practice when she reached adulthood, and, together with her late husband, Alhaji Ibrahim, introduced innovations into the preparation and packaging of herbal mixtures.

She has since made great strides in the field of traditional medicine. She has also managed to overcome the problem of her lack of formal education and through dedication and hard work, she has been able to expand her enterprise from its humble beginnings of only four shilling about 40 years ago to a prosperous venture from which she caters for her household and provides education for over 30 children, grand-children and the children of relations and friends.

Hajia is also an opinion leader whose views and ideas are respected and accepted by people in her community.
According to Hajia Taimako, who was born in Tamale around 1936, “ traditional medicine practice has become part of my life and I feel very glad when my patients come back to tell me they have been cured of their ailments after administering my herbal mixtures.’’

Hajia Taimako treats various ailments, such as hypertension and diabetes, with local herbs. About two decades ago, she was contacted by a term of medical officers at the Tamale Regional Hospital to provide supplementary health care to patients whose conditions required her attention.

She has also assisted in training and providing refresher courses for traditional birth attendants in the area free of charge.

She provides counselling service for and extends compassion to HIV/AIDS patients and offer free treatment for opportunistic diseases to people living with HIV.

Hajia is also an avowed environmentalist who has useful contributions in the area of agro-forestry and sustainable agriculture by offering training and pieces of advice to individuals and groups who are interested in setting-up tree nurseries and agro-forest plantations.

She currently owns over 100 hectares of tree plantation and a half-hectare tree nursery from which she supplies seedlings to individuals and organisation.

As an indigenous medicine practitioner, Hajia is highly respected among known herbalist, both nationally and internationally.

Her knowledge in and contributions towards traditional herbal medicine, agro-forestry and sustainable agriculture has earned her several awards and honours.

These include a certificate of honour from the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology for best environmental practices in 1996; a certificate of honour from the Ghana Forestry Commission for her re-afforestation programme in 1998 and a certificate of merit and a certificate of merit for contributing to sustainable agriculture in 1999.

The rest are a certificate of honour from the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association for her sustainable contribution towards the development of traditional medicine in Ghana in 2000.

A certificate of recognition from the Ministry of Environment and Science for her outstanding contribution towards combating desertification in Ghana by producing over 10,000 assorted tree seedlings in 2002.

Hajia Taimako certainly deserves a national recognition and support to enable her to contribute more to the development of humanity.

source: graphic

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