Ministry working on showcasing benefits of traditional medicine in Nigeria



The Ministry of Health says it is working towards showcasing benefits of traditional medicine in Nigeria.

Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire said this at a one-day Public Hearing by the Senate Committee on Health in Abuja, on Monday.

The public hearing was on two bills- a bill for an Act for establishment of Federal College of Traditional, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine of Nigeria and a bill is for an Act to provide for prevention, control and management of sickle sell anaemia in Nigeria.

According to Ehanire, the ministry is working on recreating more attention to traditional medicine to boost the nation’s health system.

“We inaugurated a committee headed by the permanent secretary consisting of 18 people where the university of Benin had been engaged to partner with the department of traditional, complimentary and alternative medicine to develop and find out all the uses extracted from traditional medicine.

“This institute is to take the tools of science to examine traditional medicine, complimentary medicine and alternative medicine,” he said.

The minister said that the sickle cell had been a subject of research lately, adding that the ministry had designed a desk officer on sickle cell due to the socio-economic importance of the disorder.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe said that the purpose of the Bill on sickle cell anemia was to stop carriers from massive suffering and death.

This, he said was by placing the statutory duty on the Federal Government through the ministry of health to engage in and encourage the prevention, control and management of the disorder in Nigeria.

Oloriegbe said that the proposed bills were appropriate and timely to address the gaps in healthcare service delivery to the ever growing population of Nigeria.

He said that the prevalence of sickle anaemia in Nigeria had risen to an alarming rate with little attention being given for its prevention.

“Sickle cell anemia is definitely preventable with minimal effort and national consciousness,” he said.

Declaring the event open, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that though alternative medicine had endured as a subject, orthodox medicine had dominated the health care management in the country.

Lawan was represented by Deputy Whip of the Senate, Sen.Sabi Abdullahi at the event.

”The recent occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded of us of the primary and primacy of health delivery and its ability to determine our social, economic and political wellbeing,” he said.

In his submission, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, said that the establishment of the college and provision of legal backing would enhance and facilitate integration of orthodox medicine and traditional toward ensuring good health and wellbeing of Nigerians.

Ogunwusi was represented by Prof. Esimai Olapeju, of Department of Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife at the event.

Also, Chairman, Nigeria-China Economic Relations, Mr Ishola Olatunbosun, expressed optimism that the passage of the bills would boost direct foreign investment into the country’s herbal medicine industry.(NAN)