By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Phytotherapists Association of Nigeria (PAN) has advocated enactment of bill by the Federal Government to recognise and regulate Herbal Medicine Practice in Nigeria.
National President of the asociation, Alhaji Fatai Yusuf (Oko Oloyun), made the call while speaking in Oyo town at the commissioning of ultra-modern factory and office complex of Ajebi Trado Medical Centre, Oyo town.
He stressed that the enactment of the bill at this particular period will among others give the needed support for the development of herbal medicine in Niger the country there is the need for the enactment of bill recognising and regulating the practice
Alhaji Yusuf stressed that the bill would also facilitate the establishment of the traditional medicine and healing department in government hospitals as well as in tertiary institutions across the country, saying, the time has come for the government to realise the importance in the use of herbs which forms the larger medicinal substance of the conventional drug as the pathway to health evolution.
“The purpose of this bill is to establish an agency of government that can regulate, monitor and create acceptable standard in traditional and herbal medicine industry as well as eliminate quacks. The agency will implement all those recommendations and there will be many other benefits which include saving people’s lives by eliminating quacks as well as establishment of traditional medicine and healing department in government hospitals and higher institutions of learning.” he said.
Alhaji Yusuf added, “in every nook and cranny of our great country there is availability of people that provide complementary and alternative medicine services. And I believe most of us here have benefited from the knowledge and services of our people especially in the rural areas. The challenge is that there is no legislation to regulate the practice of this highly important and sensitive activity”.
He stressed that “it was lack of regulation that exposed herbal practice to “unethical, crude and sharp practices by quacks and people who know nothing in the field of traditional and herbal medicine.” adding that“It will also create jobs and wealth for people who are willing to learn and adopt traditional medicine practice as a genuine profession and generate income for our nation by its conversion from informal to formal sector of the economy.”
In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ajebi Trado Medical Centre, Alhaji Isiaka Gbolagade Awujoola stated that despite the huge potential of traditional and herbal medicine to make Nigeria financially independent, generating foreign income and boost primary health care services governments at all levels have continued to neglect the practice.
Alhaji Awujoola disclosed that “to address this anomaly, a bill to recognise and accept the importance of traditional and herbal medicine in health care delivery should be enacted as a matter of urgency.”
“We learnt the bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the Traditional Medicine Council of Nigeria has passed the third reading in the last National Assembly, which we are appealing to present National Assembly to conclude the procedure to make it law. There are lots of research we have made into herbal cures that are begging for development but lack of recognation by government and shortage od funds are major bane to this giant strides.” he said.
He emphasized that “Nigeria has potential herbal medicine products for the treatment of cancers, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), management of stroke, hypertension, diabetes, malaria, anti-rabies and anti -snake vaccines, among others”.