Reps to meet FG agencies, seek development of traditional medicine

The House of Representatives has resolved to seek how Nigeria can develop traditional and alternative medicine towards improving health care service delivery in the country.

At the plenary on Thursday, the House especially mandated its Committees on Healthcare Services, Health Institutions, Appropriations, Finance, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Science and Technology, Labour and Productivity and the Committee on COVID–19 to liaise with the Federal Ministries of Health; Industry Trade and Investment; Labour and Productivity; and Science and Technology to “devise strategies towards strengthening and developing alternative healthcare delivery in the country and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.”

The move is based on a motion moved by Balarebe Kakale, titled ‘Need to Strengthen Traditional and Alternative Medicine for Sustainable Health Care Delivery in Nigeria.’

Kakale, in the motion, noted that the global outbreak of COVID–19 had exposed the disproportionate burden of Nigeria’s over–dependence on imported medical, pharmaceuticals, devices, equipment and other related health services.

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The lawmaker said there is an “overwhelming increase” in awareness for locally–sourced health solutions in the country, with more Nigerians demanding health care services that are local, homegrown, organic, close, conveniently accessible and affordable.

He said, “The House is concerned that failure to strengthen and adequately utilise alternative medical practices in the country undermines the sustainability of the domestic structures, denies Nigerians the opportunity to test their usefulness in the prevention and cure of various ailments, and leads to waste of resources.

“The House is aware that evidence has shown that Nigeria, in particular, has a plethora of medicinal plants scientifically proven to have immense health benefits but the country has failed to effectively use them.

“The House is also concerned that the lack of a sustainable domestic approach to healthcare delivery has resulted in a weak healthcare system in the country especially in efforts towards combatting COVID–19 and other epidemics.

“The House is worried that the overdependence on foreign medicine has created a lacuna in Nigeria’s healthcare system, thus limiting access to other effective forms of treatment and leaving citizens vulnerable to various diseases.”

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