The Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, has said that available records show that medicinal plants have played a key role in world health care.
Speaking at the Nigerian-Chinese Herbal Medicine Awareness and Sensitization Campaign /Exhibition of Herbal Products in Abuja, he said about 80 per cent of Africans depend on phytomedicine for the management of diseases such as malaria, sickle cell anaemia, diabetes etc.
Represented by his special assistant, Abdulhadi Abdullahi, the minister stressed that the growth of traditional medicine has slowed due to a lack of standards and poor-quality control of plants. He emphasized that this needs to be fully addressed to secure the future development and harmonisation of herbal medicines.
Abdullahi also stated that traditional medicine is part of the tradition and culture of each country where it is been practised. He added that in Nigeria, the practice of traditional medicine has been informal and health care is managed by orthodox medicine. Therefore, he called for the need to allay the fears of traditional practitioners who feel alienated from the formal health care delivery system.
The ministry, he said, has one of her capital projects in the department of health and biomedical science, geared towards the deployment of natural technology.
The technology, he further stated, is to develop, evaluate and identify herbal recipes for the control, prevention and management of identified health ailments such as epilepsy, malaria, sickle cell anaemia and trypanosomiasis etc., to promote affordable health care services.
A statement by the ministry’s deputy director of press and public relations unit, Afonja Ajibola, said the minister pledged the ministry’s commitment in collaborations with all stakeholders, to catalyse rapid development of traditional medicine practices and ensure that properly trained, educated Nigerian youths are integrated to promote entrepreneurship and sustainable succession management.
Earlier in his remarks, the president, Nigerian Youth Council (NYC), Blessing Akinlosolu, assured of the youths’ readiness to work with “all relevant stakeholders involved; from the federal, state and local government” to move the country forward with strong collaboration with the Chinese government for the development of herbal medicine practice in the country.