Health

Ministry stresses need to promote complementary, alternative medicine

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says continuous awareness will be given to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) as means of providing comprehensive healthcare for the vast rural population.

Ehanire said this on Thursday while inaugurating Colour Energy Health Machines assembled by Luminar International College/Centre for Health and Alternative Medicines, Awgu in Enugu State.

The occasion was also used for Appeal Fund Raising for the establishment of First Aid Alternative Medicine/Energy Health Science and Technology University and Specialist Teaching Hospital in Africa located in Awgu, Enugu State.

The minister, who was represented by Mr Christian Nnaji, Senior Pharmacist in the ministry, noted that it was estimated that about 80 per cent of the population living in rural areas used traditional medicine and CAM as their first source of healthcare.

He added that “the establishment of a full-fledged Department of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) in the ministry provides opportunity for rapid development and integration of TCAM into the healthcare delivery system which is seen as integrative medicine.

“Patients should be able to exercise their rights and have the choice to access their preferred healthcare services as seen in countries like China and India,’’ he said.

The minister said that government was willing to support researchers and stakeholders in the various fields of healthcare, including CAM in ensuring access to quality healthcare to all citizens.

He explained that “consequently, the ministry is planning a CAM Stakeholders Forum from Nov. 27 to Nov. 29.

“The event will feature Ministerial Press Briefing, symposium, lectures by experts in the field of CAM, exhibition by the various specialists of CAM practitioners and provision of free CAM services as means of increasing awareness.

“The overall goal of the forum is to harness the potential of this group of health practitioners toward improving delivery in the country.”

The President of the Centre/College, Prof. Joseph Akpa, lauded both the federal and Enugu State governments for creating CAM departments in their health ministries, adding that it would assist in involving holistic healthcare for all.

He said “however, I am appealing to the minister of health to vigorously pursue the Ministerial Executive Bill on Complementary and Alternative Medicine now with the National House of Assembly for immediate passage.”

He thanked the department of CAM in the Federal Ministry of Health for its programmes to promote CAM integration into the nation’s healthcare system, as well as setting up of the Ministerial Committee on CAM and for organising the CAM Week in the ministry.

Igwe John Ibe, the Traditional Ruler of Ekpulambo Mgbowo community, thanked the centre for the free medical care given to over 400 residents of his community and beyond.

Ibe also thanked the various levels of governments for the recognition given to the centre; but called for financial assistance to help it to grow.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)

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