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Aisha Buhari asks national assembly to promptly pass traditional medicine bill

Aisha Buhari asks national assembly to promptly pass traditional medicine bill
June 04
20:39 2022

Aisha, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, has asked the national assembly to pass the traditional, complementary and alternative medicine council bill.

The bill approved by the federal executive council (FEC) in 2020 aims to encourage the practice of alternative medicine in Nigeria.

Speaking at a conference organised by her office in collaboration with the ministry of health, on Saturday, Aisha said despite Nigeria having “over 10,000 species of medicinal plants”, only a small percentage is utilised. 

She said harnessing Nigeria’s medicinal plants will lead to their commercial cultivation for health, economic and social benefits.

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“These valuable bio resources, often referred to as ‘green gold’, can be harnessed for the production of medicines, cosmetics and other products for the benefit of our people,” Aisha said.

“This conference is in line with this administration’s agenda of boosting non-oil exports which will lead to the commercial cultivation of medicinal plants for health, economic and social benefits. It is with the sole aim of providing wealth and job creation for our teeming youths and women.

“This conference should prompt passage of the TCAM council bill to regulate the practice and products; establishment of a vegetable, fruit and herbs market for fresh produce, semi-processed and raw materials for women, land for women to cultivate medicinal plants and vegetables for their empowerment; training and re-training of practitioners and the protection of their intellectual property rights.”

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She encouraged state governments to collaborate with practitioners to adopt the initiative and implement it at state levels.

Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, said his ministry will facilitate the adoption of traditional and alternative medicine in orthodox medical practice.  

He said many Nigerians still use traditional medicine and so there is a need for continued research and development of ancient herbs in Nigeria.

He said: “The time has come to use the knowledge and skills of the forefathers passed down through the generations for greater value addition. In line with the aspiration of this administration to explore all avenues for proper healthcare, the federal ministry of health will remain committed to supporting initiatives that promote TCAM in Nigeria.

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“It is instructive that a high percentage of Nigerians still seek and use traditional medicine in addition to orthodox medicine. It is my hope that this conference would deliberate on opportunities that are hidden in traditional medicine to be adopted in our orthodox practice.”

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