FG mulls Bill to establish Council for Traditional, Alternative Medicine Practice




Apparently to concede to the call for the recognition of traditional medicine practitioners, the Ministry of Health on Wednesday presented a memorandum to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for a a bill to establish a Council for Traditional, Alternative and Complementary Medicine Practice in Nigeria.

This is a memo that seeks to take traditional and complementary medicine out of obscurity and give it a profile to institutionalise it just as has been done in other countries, particularly China and India.

This cheering news was dropped Wednesday in Abuja by Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire while briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly FEC meetings presided over by President Muhammadu at Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja.

Said he, “I presented a memo and it’s on a bill to establish a Council for Traditional, Alternative and Complementary Medicine Practice in Nigeria and this is a memo that seeks to take traditional and complementary medicine out of obscurity and give it a profile to institutionalise it, as has been done in other countries, particularly China and India.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has renewed the call for home-grown solutions to all these public health diseases and to find the value in our traditional medicines and this is an opportunity with which traditional medicine’s practice can, not only upscaled, but also regulated because there are also areas of malpractice that should be checked.

“It will also provide for the possibility of trainings, setting up institutions and also being able to research further, working with the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research of Nigeria to actually dig out the values that are in our traditional medicines, where they can be used and be used for research.

“There’s also conversation about protecting the intellectual property rights of who know these medicines. My attention was drawn to the fact that property rights are not so easily protected the way we define them, they are defined differently, but the protection of traditional knowledge is something that can also be established, on which we are going to be discussing with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to protect the knowledge that has been accumulated over several generations, which is in the custody of traditional practitioners.

“By and large, this is a memo that meets a lot of demands and serves a lot of purposes”, Ehanire revealed.

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