By Godwin Amunde
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, said the federal government is working towards the establishment of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Institute (TCAMI) to boost traditional medicine in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary disclosed this during the training of traditional medicine practitioners in Abuja, noting that traditional medicine practitioners play very important roles in the healthcare delivery system of the country.
He was represented by Pharm. Zainab Shariff, the Director of TCAM in the Ministry of Health.
“We also know that many herbal products distributed in Nigeria are of low quality as they are produced in poor sanitary and unwholesome conditions that put the health of consumers in danger. This has impacted negatively on the status of the herbal products in terms of confidence and perception of the products by Nigerians.
“The above scenario calls for the need to train and retrain traditional medicine practitioners in order to enhance their skills and competencies. It is the mandate of the Ministry to harness the potentials of traditional medicine practitioners in the country in the effort to develop and integrate traditional medicine practice into the health care system of the country,” the minister said.
He call on all stakeholders, most especially, the practitioners to collaborate with the Ministry to ensure that the plans and activities of the Ministry concerning TCAM are well executed, adding that the ministry was also pursuing the establishment of TCAM Council through a Bill that was currently pending before the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the National President of New National Association of Nigeria Traditional Medicine Practitioner (NNANTMP), Dr Ibrahim Dada Nakowa, said: “God has blessed Nigeria with good drugs to cure difference sickness including the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore Nigeria doesn’t need to request for any drug outside the country.
“Other countries have supported their traditional medicine practitioners to boost traditional medicine in their country, so, we are calling the government of Nigeria to support us in the area of equipment to produce quality products.
“Government should support us to make headway in our findings, we have seen some solutions to the deadly different virus but we have not been given the power to cure.”
The deputy National President of the association, Chief Eugene Nwachukwu, also called on the government to support the association in whatever way it could to enable it move forward in the area of local medicine, noting that the association has registered more ten thousands (10) members across the country to support government efforts in boosting traditional medicine.
“The training would also avail the members to organise themselves better. We have been trying to form that unity among practitioners to see that we work in collaboration with the health sector, while database registration is ongoing so that every traditional medicine practitioner will be carried along,” he said.