Government to regulate, integrate alternative medicine

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The Federal Ministry of Health, (FMOH), has said that it is set to propose a Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdulaziz, said this at a two-day CAM Stakeholders Forum in Abuja, organised by the African Traditional Medicine Department of the Ministry of Health.

Abdulaziz said that the bill would provide opportunity for the rapid development and integration of complementary and alternative medicine into the healthcare delivery system, which was seen as integrative medicine.

He said that the bill would seek to encourage, promote and regulate traditional medicine practice in Nigeria.

The permanent secretary said that the complementary and alternative medicine which was also known as traditional medicine was very important to health care delivery.

According to him, there are people that provide complementary and alternative medicine services across the country.

“I believe most of us here have benefited from the knowledge and experience of those people especially in the rural areas.

In fact, a lot of people rely on it for their medical needs and others rely on it as their source of income and livelihood.The challenge is that there is no legislation to regulate the practice of this highly important and sensitive activity,” he said.

Abdulaziz said that lack of regulation exposed the practice to unethical, crude and sharp practices by quacks who know nothing in the field of complementary and alternative medicine’’.

He further said that people had suffered a lot in the hands of fake traditional medical practitioners while some had even lost loved ones.

“The purpose of the bill is to establish, regulate, monitor and create acceptable standard in alternative and traditional medicine industry as well as eliminate quacks.

He said that World Health Organisation (WHO) made recommendations to all member countries at a congress of traditional medicine held in Beijing China.

 

Abdulaziz noted that complementary and alternative medicine might include dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation

L.Nasir