Nigeria’s federal government has told the National Assembly to move quickly on the TCAM Bill, which will ensure the essential framework for the sector’s future growth.
According to the government, it’s time to turn the medical wisdom and abilities of our forefathers into a greater societal benefit, in accordance with its goal to investigate all possibilities for Universal Health Coverage.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health, announced that Traditional, Alternative, and Complementary Medicine (TCAM) medicine will be absorbed into Nigeria’s Primary Health Care System during a two-day maiden edition of the TCAM Conference hosted by the Ministry of Health and the Office of the nation’s first lady.
“There is no need for conflict between Western and traditional medicine,” Ehanire says. “A significant percentage of Nigerians prefer traditional medicine and use it as an addition to conventional treatment. This confirms the need for incorporating traditional treatment practices into our medical system.
“The Health Ministry will examine how to incorporate TCM into our Primary Health Care System. However, it is critical that the practice be well-licensed to guarantee that our people receive medical benefits.”
The Federal Republic of Nigeria is endowed with over ten thousand medicinal plant species, excellent agricultural land, and suitable climatic conditions for utilizing these plants’ abilities for health, economic, social, and national development goals.
The objective of the Conference, according to Mamora, was to assist in the development and usage of medicinal plants as an origin of raw materials for cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries.
The idea was to establish a prolonged value chain in order to attract agricultural enterprise loans and Bank of Industry (BOI) Manufacturing loans, which would help the country’s economy develop.
“Also, Nigeria and other African countries presently profit little from the global herbal medicine business, which is expected to grow by 2050 to $7 trillion, and countries like Thailand, Germany, the US, India, and China presently dominate it.”
Furthermore, the era of medicinal plants and the commercialization of herbal medicines will lead to meaningful economic advantages for Nigeria, specifically in expanded foreign trade revenues and riches yield, as well as poverty mitigation through employment creation in agricultural production and Nigeria’s Medicinal Plants conservation.
“The FMoH is dedicated to the advancement and promotion of TCAM in Nigeria, and it is presently making the following practical efforts:
“Established sensitization campaigns and actions to boost indigenous medicinal plant usage in Nigeria; Facilitated the passing of TCAM Council Bill into Law, which would effectively coordinate and regulate TCAM approach in the nation.”
Presented a template for ultra-modern TCAM Hospital in Nigeria. An Experts Committee has been established to work out the details for the launch of the TCAM Institute for the training of TCAM Practitioners in Nigeria.
In her speech, the nation’s First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, emphasized the importance of all stakeholders—particularly the federal government—increasing their use of traditional medicines in healthcare and economic development.
While alternative medicine like Ayurveda and acupuncture have been introduced and assimilated into the nation, the traditional medical potential remains below 20% utilization.
“This conference tallies with this administration’s goal of expanding non-oil exports for large-scale production of medicinal plants for social, economic, and health gains. For the women and youths, it will generate employment opportunities and promote health.”
Dr. Uzu Onyemaechi Robert, a stakeholder and producer of herbal medicine, stated that the conventional herbal sector requires government intervention in terms of grant and loan support.
There’s no investment lost in the herbal treatments industry, says Robert, who urged the government to provide funding for the sector’s long-term viability.
“If a budget of $500 million to $1 billion exists, it will help create employment and improve foreign exchange earning into the government’s purse since herbal medicine production requires human aid from finding raw materials to trade.”
Professor MacDonald Idu of the University of Benin’s Phytomedicine department presented a Keynote speech at the event, predicting that if well-utilized the economic significance of traditional medicinal plants in Nigeria would hit N1 trillion by 2025.
The global market for the sector is said to be worth around N200 billion, but he believes it’s presently underutilized.
“$200 billion was discussed. It’s a safe guess,” he continued. “Other studies predict 1 trillion by 2025. I understand what it means to have a lot of money. That’s a significant amount of money.”
“Nigerians don’t live up to our words. We talk a lot but do little. It’s my objective to help people understand the need for economic diversification.
“There is no excuse for poverty in this country. That is reality. We have all we need for survival. We just have to take it.”