A natural medicine practitioner, Dr. Ndubuisi Nwakakwa, has called on the Federal Government to investigate the potency of Nigeria’s natural endowments to find more solutions to health problems.
Nwakakwa, a Consultant Acupuncturist, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.
“Other countries can seek ours, this will create a huge economy for Nigeria,” Nwakakwa, a Visiting Professor to Indian Acupuncture Training and Research Center, Jaipur, told NAN.
He described as laudable, Federal Executive Council’s recent approval of establishment of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Council, saying that it would boost practice.
The consultant urged the Federal Government to re-establish the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine to further develop natural medicine practice.
Nwakakwa, a one-time Acting Provost of the college, said that the re-establishment would boost manpower development in natural medicine practice and enable practitioners to contribute more to healthcare.
He also appealed to the government to encourage existing individuals’ establishments on natural medicine.
The acupuncturist said that natural medicine had impacted much on Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system, particularly in villages difficult to access by the orthodox system.
According to Nwakakwa, natural medicine practitioners have filled the vacuum in such areas.
“Where western practitioners dread to go, natural medicine practitioners are there. It is an age-long system.
“Before the advent of the western system, our society had been benefitting from it, from child delivery to dressing of wounds, etc.
“Most of the ailments or diseases that have defied the western system are being handled and managed by natural medicine practitioners of various fields such as acupuncture, homeopathy and traditional medicine.
“There are economic benefits to Nigeria as a result of low expenditure by patients who go for natural medicine,’’ he told NAN.
Nwakakwa, a Fellow of the Association of Certified Professionals of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine, said that acupuncture could handle and manage obstetrics, gynacology, gastro-intestinal and mental cases as well as cancer-related pains.
“Adverse effects are minimal,” he said.
The acupuncturist described as encouraging, the level of integration of natural medicine into Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system.
“Apart from various states having boards of natural medicine, a major achievement is the establishment of such a department in the Federal Ministry of Health.
“It is no longer rhetoric that its acceptance is obvious and encouraging,” he told NAN.
He identified challenges to natural medicine practice to include lack of co-operation among practitioners, inadequate funding and lack of well-equipped research laboratories accessible to the practitioners.
He called for more government support for the practitioners.
Nwakakwa, who recently received the Legendary Award of the Association of Certified Professionals of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine, said the honour served as an incentive for him to contribute more to natural medicine practice. (NAN)