By Hassan Zaggi
The World Health Organisation (WHO), has vowed to continue to work with and support members countries to enable them integrate the practice of Traditional Medicine (TM) in national health care system.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidisu Moeti, gave the indication in a message to commemorate the 2019 African Traditional Medicine Day, in Abuja.
Represented by the Health Emergencies Team Lead, Dr. Clement Lugala Peter, the WHO regional director called on governments, the academia, research institutions and the private sector to strengthen collaboration towards the integration of traditional medicine into training programmes of health workers, students and researchers.
On the other hand, the Federal Government has insisted that the integration of traditional medicine in the curricula of health sciences students in universities in the African region was necessary for the gradual integration of TM into the main stream health systems on the continent including Nigeria.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, stated this while delivering a keynote address at the celebration of the African Traditional Medicine Day.
“It is worthy of note that the Federal Ministry of Health took a bold step in this direction by developing a curriculum for the training of herbal
medical practitioners at medical schools and special herbal medicine program modules for health sciences students in 2014.
“The document was developed with the active participation of relevant stakeholders including National Universities Commission (NUC).
“Let me also mention that the Federal Ministry of Health, Universities, agencies and other relevant
stakeholders has recorded remarkable achievements towards promoting the gradual integration of traditional medicine into the healthcare delivery system of the country,” he said.
Speaking, the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed that her agency has put in place a national traditional medicine product committee.
“We started that early this year. We gathered the academia and herbalist together in Oshodi.
“What NAFDAC is trying to do is to foster the translation of traditional medicine into product.
“We emphasized the importance of collaboration. There is no used to have a knowledge that dies with you. We are trying to gather the knowledge and sent it to academicians.
“NAFDAC is in the forefront of making sure that our medicines are translated into commercial product,” she noted.
She revealed that: “I have given a directive that any herbal medicine that we are importing that has similar function as the one that we have in our data base is certainly going to be stepped down so that we increase our own development internally.”