The Minister of State for Health, Senator Adeleke Mamora, has called on universities in the country to introduce a Bachelor of Science degree programme in herbal medicine for better healthcare delivery.
Mamora made the call at a news conference to commemorate the 2019 African Traditional Medicine Day in Abuja on Friday.
African Traditional Medicine day is celebrated on August 31 annually.
The theme for the 2019 event was: “Integrating Traditional Medicine in Health Sciences Curricular in the African Region.”
He appealed to Nigerian universities to incorporate modules of herbal medicine in their curricula of health sciences, adding that this could be achieved with support from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
The minister also unveiled the ministry’s report on curriculum development for the training of herbal medical practitioners and medical schools.
Mamora urged agencies and departments working on traditional medicine in the country to work together for the development of the sector.
He said the ultimate goal of the government in the sector was to derive maximum economic benefits from traditional medicine like China, India and other countries.
The minister urged state governments and the Federal Capital Territory to establish traditional medicine departments for healthcare development.
Mamora suggested that such a department should be complementary to medicine department to provide opportunities for rapid development and integration of traditional medicine into the healthcare delivery system.
He said the ministry was working on a traditional and complementary medicine bill to be submitted to the executive for approval and forwarding to the National Assembly for passage.
Abubakar Rashid, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, said the commission would collaborate with the ministry to improve the knowledge of undergraduates of health sciences on traditional medicine.
Loveth Iwuzu, representative of Nigeria Traditional Medicine Practitioners, appealed to government to initiate a policy to guard the intellectual property rights of the traditional medicine practitioners.
In his remark, Dr. Clement Peter, Officer in Charge of World Health Organisation, Nigeria, restated the commitment of the organisation to support the Federal Government to integrate traditional medicine into the national health system.