Soothsaying as Health Seeking Behaviour: Implications for Medical Treatment of Diseases Perceived to be Supernatural


  • Thomas Bavo Azongo university for devlopment studies, school of medicine and health sciences, Ghana
  • Adadow Yidana University for Development Studies, Ghana
  • Edmond Muonir Der university for development studies, school of medicine and health sciences, Ghana


Diviners, traditional, supernatural, soothsaying, invisible forces


In spite of the advances in modern medical technologies in dealing with ill-health, a section of society continues to use divination in their search for therapy. Using a qualitative survey, this study sought to gain insight into reasons why this practice is pervasive. Data gathering methods included in-depth interviews with some renowned diviners, community members and healthcare providers. A focus group discussion was also organized to gain additional information on the use of divination. Findings 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. Patients with afflictions such diseases as burns, boils, anthrax, and snakebites tend to consult diviners first as they believe these conditions are of supernatural origin. This has implications for healthcare service and utilization. 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

Author Biographies

Thomas Bavo Azongo, university for devlopment studies, school of medicine and health sciences, Ghana

Department of Allied Health Science

Adadow Yidana, University for Development Studies, Ghana

Department of Community Health

Edmond Muonir Der, university for development studies, school of medicine and health sciences, Ghana

Department of pathology


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How to Cite

Bavo Azongo, T., Yidana, A., & Muonir Der, E. (2015). Soothsaying as Health Seeking Behaviour: Implications for Medical Treatment of Diseases Perceived to be Supernatural. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies, 3(1). Retrieved from