The First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Aisha Buhari, has called for the gradual integration of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) into Nigeria’s health system; she made this call during the TCAM conference at the Abuja International Conference Center on June 4, 2022.
The conference, organized by his office in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health, aimed to promote indigenous Nigerian medicinal plants.
Ms. Buhari noted that TCAM is a very important health service delivery system that is as old as mankind and has been used for disease management, treatment and prevention using herbs, parts of animals, water, air and other natural elements. These, she said, have been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as health practices or interventions, other than conventional medicine.
“Nigeria is endowed with over 10,000 species of medicinal plants of which less than 20% are used, and in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s program to boost non-oil exports, there is a need to engage in the commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. “
This, she believes, will improve the health of the nation, expand social benefits and provide wealth and jobs to our abundant youth and women,” Ms Buhari said.
She further recommended the speedy passage of the TCAM Bill to regulate the practice; the establishment of a vegetable fruit market for fresh, semi-processed products and as raw materials, and a land for women to cultivate medicinal plants using Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for their empowerment.
She also called on the wives of governors to adapt this initiative and implement it at the state level and thanked the Federal Ministry of Health for investing her as an ambassador of TCAM.
Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, speaking at the event, assured the First Lady that the Federal Government would facilitate the wide adoption of traditional and alternative medicine into Orthodox medical practice. Professor MacDonald Idu of the University of Benin, who gave the keynote address, said if properly harnessed by Nigeria, the value of traditional herbal medicines could reach N1 trillion by 2025.
The highlight of the conference was an exhibition of medicinal plants and foods.
The conference brought together ministers, wives of governors and other dignitaries.
Special Assistant to the President for Media and Publicity
(Office of the First Lady)