By Joyce Remi-Babayeju
As Nigeria marks the African Traditional Medicine Day, today the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate has said that Nigeria is set to fund local research of new drugs and vaccines in the country.
Prof. Pate who was represented by the Minister of State for Health, Tunji Alausa said that this is as a result of the wholesome acceptability and usage of Traditional Medicine by Nigerians, adding that many medicines have their origin from herbal medicine, which is a form of traditional medicine.
Traditional Medicine is easily accessible and affordable, and it is also culturally acceptable and trusted by a large number of people, he noted.
He also disclosed that in line with President Tinubu’s agenda, the government would prioritize Universal Health Coverage to address the nation’s health challenges.
The minister said, “With about 80% of the rural population using TM as a primary form of health care, traditional medicine has made an invaluable contribution to the health.”
“WHO Global Status Report on non-communicable diseases, (NCDs), 2011), shows thattraditional medicine use in Nigeria is as high as 81.6%, and this is not expected to be on the decline in the near future, especially in the face of the predicted increase in the global burden of diseases.”
Furthermore, the minister disclosed that government would optimize traditional Medicine by focussing on favourable policies, institutional and political support, our rich biodiversity, qualitative data, scientific research, and the use of innovation to channel traditional medicine to universal health coverage and sustainable development.
Pate finally revealed that the passage of the Bill for the Establishment of the Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine Council, of Nigeria which was rejected by the 9 Assembly will be pushed for by the 10th Assembly, adding that when assented it will regulate the practice of TCAM in the country.