The federal government has revealed that over 80 percent of Nigerians, especially those in rural areas, use traditional medicine for their primary health needs.
It, therefore, stated that bearing in mind the immense potential of traditional medicines, it is committed to recognising and harnessing the rich heritage of traditional medicines.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) also stressed that while approximately 80 percent of Africans seek solace in traditional medicines for their fundamental health needs, the potential of traditional medicine, in terms of research, local manufacturing, and commercialisation, remains untapped.
Speaking during this year’s African Traditional Medicine (ATM) Day, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, represented by the Director of Human Resource Management, Hassan Salau, said: “With about 80 percent of the rural population using traditional medicine as a primary form of health care, traditional medicine has made an invaluable contribution to the health and well-being for all.
“Studies have shown that traditional medicine use in Nigeria is as high as 81.6 percent, and this is not expected to be on the decline in the near future, especially in the face of the predicted increase in the global burden of diseases (WHO Global Status Report on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), 2011). Traditional Medicine is easily accessible and affordable and it is also culturally acceptable and trusted by a large number of people.
“The Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, seeks to bolster the economy by prioritizing Universal Health Coverage which is expected to frontally address the nation’s healthcare challenges.
“The healthcare plan will also focus on encouraging and improving funding for local research of new drugs and vaccines. It is a well-established fact that many medicines have their origin from herbal medicine which is a form of traditional medicine.”
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, who was represented by the Country Representative of the WHO, Dr. Walter Mulombo added: “Throughout these years, Member States have witnessed the flourishing of African Traditional Medicine Day as a dynamic platform for dialogue, exchange, and knowledge sharing.
Moeti said: “It has united stakeholders – from traditional medicine practitioners to policymakers, from researchers to international partners – in a common pursuit of best practices, groundbreaking evidence, and innovative solutions that showcase the immense potential of traditional medicine in nurturing holistic health and well-being for all.
“On this occasion, I call upon Member States to scale up their efforts and further implement evidence-based Traditional Medicine (TM) approaches to achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals and promote health and well-being for all at all ages.”Follow us on social media