Lagos Tasks Traditional Medicine Practitioners On Clinical Trials

The Lagos State Government has urged Traditional Medicine Practitioners,  to bring their purported herbal COVID-19 cure, for clinical trials. 

 State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the call at the celebration of the 2021 African Traditional Medicine Day,  held on Tuesday in Lagos. 

 The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the 2021 celebration is: “Traditional Medicine: Research and Development”. 

The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said traditional medicine practitioners should collaborate with scientists,  to prove that their practice was statistically sound. 

According to him, the state government is willing to be committed to the growth and development of traditional medicine. 

He said: “Africa is yet to find a cure to COVID-19, l therefore, urge the traditional medicine practitioners, as the space is still open,  to bring their medicine for clinical trials, under good manufacturing guidelines. 

Sanwo-Olu advised the traditional medicine practitioners to team up with orthodox medicine practitioners,  to know how their practice could be validated. 

He encouraged them to regulate themselves and not endanger lives of the people of Lagos state. 

“It is important as medical practitioners that your mission is not to cause any harm but to prove that you can add value to the lives of residents of Lagos. 

“Your utmost priority should be the wellbeing and welfare  of your patients. 

“We are going to regulate you to ensure sound practices  of alternative medicine in the state,” he said. 

In her remarks, Mrs Folashade Jaji, Secretary to the State Government, urged  the  traditional medicine practitioners to research into cure for COVID-19. 

Jaji urged them to up their game so that traditional medicine could occupy the space it deserved. 

She stressed the need for traditional medicine to be regulated and  taken with applicable measures,  to avoid being abused. 

Speaking, Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, (LSTMB) Prof. Adebukunola Adefule-Ositelu, said it was time for traditional medicine to take its place in the  health sector and to be useful for all. 

Adefule-Ositelu added that time had come for traditional medicine practitioners  to work  with orthodox medicine practitioners, for  people to have a choice, between the two. 

She urged everyone to embrace traditional medicine, noting that it was not fetish, fake nor foreign. 

Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr Olorunkemi Kadiku, Registrar, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, (LSTMB) said  the agency would continue to provide enabling environment,  needed to unlock inherent potentials in traditional medicine, to the benefit of mankind. 

Kadiku enjoined stakeholders to cooperate, collaborate and support each other in the various fields of traditional medicine and equally uphold high ethical standards in the discharge of their obligations to patients and mankind. 

He said: “We are at a point in our onerous journey, in achieving parity and recognition accorded conventional healthcare practitioners and products, as such, all hands are needed on deck.” 

The registrar said there was no gainsaying that traditional medicine was the mainstay to achieving Sustainable Development and Universal Health Coverage, as about 80 per cent  of Africa’s population relied on traditional medicine for their basic health needs. 

“In some instances, traditional medicine is the only healthcare service available, accessible and affordable to many people on the continent. “Therefore, significant contribution of traditional medicine as a major provider of healthcare services in Africa and by extension, Nigeria, cannot be underestimated or  controverted.