The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) on Friday advised traditional medicine practitioners to work as a team, to improve the health care delivery system in Nigeria.
Sen. Olorunnibe Mamora, the Minister of State for Health, gave the advice in Abuja, at the opening of the 2019 African Traditional Medicine Day, organised by the African Traditional Medicine Department of the Ministry of Health.
The three-day event is expected to promote and exhibit traditional herbal practitioners in Nigeria, and their products to the world.
The theme of the celebration is “Integration of Traditional Medicine in the Curricular of Health Sciences Students in Universities in the African Region.”
Mamora said there was the need to close the gap between traditional practices and change in attitude, required for an effective team, to achieve such a great ambition for Nigeria.
He called on the traditional medicine practitioners to aim at providing exceptional health care by adopting wide team-based culture, in which certain values and principles were shared and transparently communicated among themselves.
The minister, however, said that the practitioners should see themselves as labourers in the vineyard of health; there should be no superiority, rather, they should work on the unity of purpose and avoid collusion.
In her goodwill message, the Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said that the agency would continue to sensitise herbal medicine practitioners in Nigeria toward safeguarding public health.
Adeyeye said that NAFDAC would be strict in the regulation and control of herbal products, to facilitate its development and contribution to the national health care delivery system in Nigeria.
She noted that to further ensure safety and quality of herbal medicine, the agency had inaugurated a Scientific Committee to deliberate and report on additional analytical tests, that could be conducted in addition to others highlighted under Laboratory Analysis.
Adeyeye said that NAFDAC was in the process of renewing a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), for research collaboration on herbal medicines.
“These activities and collaborations will greatly facilitate translation of the low-hanging fruit of our biodiversity, into palatable public health commodities.
“Evidently, NAFDAC is totally committed to ensuring that only safe traditional herbal medicinal products of good quality are available to the general public,” she said.
In her address of welcome, Mrs Zainab Shariff, Director, Traditional Medicine Department FMOH, said that the decision to observe the Day followed the adoption in 2000, of a resolution on promoting the role of traditional medicine in the health systems by the region’s ministers.
Shariff noted that the image and profile of traditional medicine received a boost in Africa in 2001 in Abuja; adding that the Heads of State declared traditional medicine research a priority, and followed up by designating the period 2001 to 2010 as the Decade of African Traditional Medicine.
She disclosed that Nigeria had joined other African countries to mark the Day each year with sensitisation, advocacy and awareness campaigns in Nigerian traditional medicine.
The director said that Nigeria had continued to show commendable progress in the area of traditional medicine.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the event was an avenue to discuss issues regarding the development of indigenous herbal plants among policy makers.
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