Prof. Magnus Atilade, the President, Nigerian Council of Physicians of Natural Medicine, has urged the three tiers of governments to fund research and other activities in the traditional and alternative medicine.
Atilade made the plea at a news conference on the African Traditional Medicine Day organised by the council in Lagos.
The theme of the day is: “Repositioning Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Nigeria.’’
Aina also called on all health institutions, stakeholders and professionals to collaborate with the traditional medicine practitioners to boost healthcare delivery.
The council president said that funding traditional and alternative medicine would encourage more people to adopt the system.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has supported, promoted and assisted the development of traditional and alternative medicine in a bid to drive African health agenda.
“Speedy passage of the Traditional Medicine Bill now before the National Assembly is also very important.
“Integrating indigenous medicine into the country’s healthcare delivery is very important to our society as the practitioners are closer to the people.
“It is high time that government does the needful to legitimatise, control and integrate traditional medicine into the nation’s healthcare delivery.
“This system will put stop to quackery and bring reduction to maternal mortality rate in Nigeria.
“It will be banded with law, and training of the practitioners will be enforced to boost effective healthcare delivery,” Atilade said.
A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of complementary and alternative medicine commission recently passed third reading stage in the House of Representatives.
Also, a bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the Traditional Medicine Council of Nigeria has passed the third reading.
Also, a biochemist, Dr Olugbenga Aina, said that encouraging natural products and drugs would boost the nation’s economy and development.
Aina, who works with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, urged the three tiers of government and the private sector to support traditional medicine with adequate funding.
“Integration of traditional and alternative medicine into the healthcare delivery system will popularise it as being done in other countries such as India, China and Europe.
“NIMR decided to collaborate with natural medicine practitioners by testing their herbal products in our laboratories to know the effectiveness and its side effects on herbal drugs before consumption.
“Most people are confused because they do not know the efficacy of most herbal drugs,” he said.