Mankessim, a commercial town in the Central Region, is noted for foodstuff, fish and meat. But for some time now, people from all walks of life have been trooping to the town not to shop for these items but to seek healing for various eye challenges, including blindness.
This follows the discovery of a medicine by a herbalist in the town, which has been acclaimed to cure all kinds of eye diseases, including the dreadful glaucoma, which medical doctors say has no cure.
The herbalist, 60-year-old Mr John Kofi Sackey, aka Odopee, is the proprietor of Odopee Herbal Research and Learning Centre at Mankessim.
The Daily Graphic has visited the centre twice in the last two weeks and met many people receiving treatment.
Unlike the orthodox solutions, which prescribe various forms of surgery and medication, the herbal solution was not applied directly on the eyes. Rather, the herbalist pours the liquid preparation onto a piece of dry wood, puts the wood in a small plastic container for the patient to watch with widely opened eyes for 10 minutes.
The Daily Graphic also observed that the patients, most of them above 60 years, repeated the process three times a day.
After exposing the eyes to the invisible rays of the drug, the patients are made to walk for some time.
They rest for two or three hours and resume the treatment.
Mr Sackey said some of the patients regained their sight on the first day of treatment.
The Mfantseman Municipal Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Mr Martin Daanko, told the Daily Graphic last Wednesday that even though the drug had not undergone any scientific analysis, his personal observation at the herbal centre and the numerous testimonies of cured patients pointed to the efficacy of the herbal medicine.
He said he was particularly happy that the medication was not applied directly on the eyes.
Mr Daanko also commended Mr Sackey for procuring more than 30 licenses, certificates, testimonials, citations and recommendations from recognised institutions, including the Traditional Medicine Practice Council of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Health Procurement Unit, signed by a former Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo.
The Municipal Health Director, who visited the centre in the company of the Human Resource Manager at the Municipal Health Directorate, Mr Emmanuel Asante-Aboagye, promised that his outfit would help Mr Sackey to go through the various tests required to certify his herbal preparation for eye diseases at the Centre for Plant Medicine Research, Akuapem-Mampong, and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Tropical Diseases.
He, however, advised Mr Sackey to collaborate with the Saltpond Government Hospital by sending all eye patients who reported at his herbal centre to the facility for examination before attending to them and resend them to the hospital to certify if they had been completely cured.
The Mfantseman Municipal Manager of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Rev. Dr Mark Nii Lamptey, also said he had heard good testimonies about the herbal medicine.
He said in their routine rounds to register clients at Mankessim for the NHIS, they came across the centre.
He said to his surprise and that of his staff, they saw people being treated of various eye diseases and those who had been healed who gave testimonies.
Rev. Dr Lamptey, who is also an international evangelist, described the work of Mr Sackey as rare and to the best of his knowledge the first of its kind in the world.
He called on all stakeholders in the health sector to assist Mr Sackey to perfect his act and expand his herbal centre.