By Abujah Racheal
President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha Buhari, on Tuesday advocated the use of traditional medicine as an integral part of health services.
Therefore, she urged Nigerians to embrace traditional medicine for the treatment it offers through the use of natural plants and herbs.
Buhari, represented by Hajiya Hajo Sani, made the call in Abuja, during the presentation of three books by Zainab Sharif, Pharmacist and Director / Head of Department, Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines (TCAM), Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).
They provide information on the various herbal plants available in Nigeria.
Buhari, who noted that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine were also important parts of treatment options, praised the author for documenting his experience.
“So I want to congratulate the author on this great achievement and call on Nigerians to buy copies and use them at home, to ensure healthy and sustainable lives.
“I also call on other practitioners of traditional complementary and alternative medicine to conduct their research with approved institutions to find cures for diseases that have plagued Nigerians,” she said.
The president’s wife said the books would be of great benefit to Nigerians and medical professionals.
The Ooni of Ife, His Majesty Adeyeye Enitan, who attended the occasion as the then royal father, said the country should focus on improving and developing its traditional herbal medicine.
According to him, it can also be a source of income for the country.
He said that traditional medicine explores the use of various medicinal and natural plants and herbs.
“We won’t believe our common onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, lower triglycerides and lower cholesterol, all of which can lower the risk of heart disease.
“Their potent anti-inflammatory properties can also help lower high blood pressure and protect against blood clots,” he explained.
He said traditional medicine “is an important part of our repositioning of social health in Africa and serves as a major source of health services”.
In addition, the Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, said the ministry has made giant strides towards promoting, developing and institutionalizing traditional, complementary and alternative medicine practices in the country. .
“This includes the existence of the Department of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines (TCAM).
“Review of the National Pharmacopoeia of Medicinal Plants, 2008, to include more medicinal plants.
“Also, the collaboration with the University of Benin for the creation of the TCAM Institute and the inauguration of the committee for the establishment of the Institute and the Review of the Policy of Traditional Medicine 2007.”
According to him, other steps are the collaboration with the Council of Research and Development of Raw Materials for the cultivation and processing of Artemisia annua as well as training, contract packaging and internally generated income (IGR) .
“The establishment of a database of traditional medicine practitioners in the 36 states and FCT and their capacity building.
“The establishment of an herbal tea store for the distribution of medicinal herbal teas to ensure a healthy workforce is part of the efforts to promote TCAM in the country,” said Mamora.
The minister said the government is proud of the progress made so far, especially under the current administration.
He urged all Nigerians to take advantage and equip themselves with the knowledge about indigenous medicinal plants from the books.
Federation Head of Service (HoSF)Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan said Nigeria was heavily dependent on imported medicines, saying there was a need to encourage more Nigerians to venture into traditional medicines.
In addition, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mr. Adulaziz Mashi Abdulahi, praised the efforts of the author of the books.
Abdulahi said TCAM practices are in fact increasingly popular around the world as they provide complementary care for modern medicines.
“Many other scientific organizations are studying traditional medicines and their effectiveness,” he said.
In his remarks, Sharif refuted claims that traditional herbal medicines were less likely to cause side effects than orthodox medicines.
She said: “This is a wrong notion because traditional herbal medicines also have side effects.
“They can be toxic and that’s why we need to do a lot of research on this,” she said.
According to her, Nigeria is blessed with a vast biodiversity of flora, which makes traditional medicine readily available and accessible.
Sharif lamented that despite the abundance of raw materials and the inherent advantages of traditional herbal medicine, the development of the practice of traditional herbal medicine still poses a great challenge for the country.
NAN reports that the event was an avenue for discussing issues regarding the development of native herbal plants among decision makers.
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