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WHO to assist FG integrate traditional medicine into national healthcare

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Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye (left); Minister of State for Health, Sen. Adeleke Mamora and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Alhaji Abdulaziz Abdullahi during the ministerial briefing and symposium on the 2019 African Traditional Medicine Day celebration in Abuja…yesterday

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has restated its commitment to support the Federal Government to further integrate the practice of traditional medicine into the National Health System.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, disclosed this at a news conference to mark the 2019 Africa Traditional Medicine Day yesterday in Abuja.

Moeti, who was represented by Clement Peter, Officer-in-Charge, WHO Nigeria, urged governments, academics, research institutions and other key players to strengthen collaboration towards integration of traditional medicine into training programmes for health workers. He said that the African Traditional Medicine Day was celebrated on August 31 annually, stressing that the day is marked to celebrate tremendous progress in traditional medicine in the region.

Moeti added that the WHO member states in Africa had different regulatory frameworks, different delivery models for primary healthcare and unique traditional medicine profiles.

Earlier, the Director-General, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Obi Adigwe, said the agency had been working with sister agencies to verify claims about some traditional medicines. Uche Osumbor, who represented the director-general, said that the agency would continue its research on the traditional medicine from the local flora and fauna. According to him, the agency has put in place strategies to empower youths who are interested in venturing into traditional medicine production. He appealed for more support and funding for the development of traditional medicine in the country.

Similarly, Abubakar Rashid, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, said the commission was ready to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health to improve the knowledge of undergraduate students of health sciences on traditional medicine. Loveth Iwuzu, representative of the Nigeria Traditional Medicine Practitioners, urged the government to provide policies that would guard the intellectual property rights of the practitioners.

19 years ago, health ministers in Africa adopted a resolution in promoting traditional medicine in the health system. This year’s African Traditional Medicine Day has the theme, “Integrating traditional medicine in health sciences curricular in the African Region’’.


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