…Practitioners Around the World Urged to Be Recognized
Since roughly 80% of the African population uses traditional medicine for their basic health needs, its Registrar, Mr.Babatunde Adele, has described traditional medicine as a mainstay towards achieving Sustainable Development and Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
On Thursday, in commemoration of African Traditional Medicine Day 2023 and a plea for more acknowledgment of practitioners, he made these remarks at a Press Conference held at LSTMB’s Head Office in Lagos.
Adele insisted that traditional medicine’s role as a primary supplier of healthcare in Africa and, by extension, the world, is not to be minimized.
The Registrar noted that the Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board is in the midst of establishing an enviable integrated approach, most importantly at the primary healthcare level to solve distinct health gaps.
Adele disclosed that the rate of infant and maternal mortality from traditional medicine practitioners has drastically decreased due to periodic training from the Board, while assuring that the Agency will continue to provide the enabling environment needed to unlock the inherent potentials in traditional medicine for the benefit of mankind.
He utilized the occasion to urge those involved in traditional medicine to work together, share resources, and give moral and ethical support as they carried out their duties to patients and society.
According to him, “we are now at a point in our onerous journey in achieving parity and recognition accorded conventional healthcare practitioners and products,” and everyone needs to pitch in.
The Registrar emphasized that Lagos State had consistently paid attention to traditional medicine for the past 43 years, and that the state was now being understudied by others across the country, despite the fact that it remains a state to reckon with among all the others in the area of global best practices in traditional medicine.
Prof. Adebukonla Adefule-Ositelu, a former board chairman, also spoke at the occasion, affirming that traditional medicine is accessible, has fewer side effects, and is highly effective.
According to the former Chairman of the Board, the State Government has taken steps to improve the practice of traditional medicine by providing greater training to practitioners on what constitutes acceptable and appropriate procedures in traditional medicine.
She pleaded with the State Government to fund the creation of a traditional medicine laboratory where research and clinical trials could be undertaken, arguing that such a move would provide even more legitimacy to the field.
Mr. Hakeem Bello, the Agency’s director of research and training, has previously argued that the massive economic potential of herbal medicine may be strategically unlocked, leading to economic success on a national, regional, and global scale.
In the spirit of commemorating the momentous anniversary with the rest of the world, he suggests doing an institutional situation analysis of our trajectory going forward in order to devise a concrete road map toward long-term health and economic growth.
To recognize the lasting significance of African traditional medicine and its integral role in improving health and well-being across the African continent, the WHO African Region has designated August 31 as African Traditional Medicine Day, to be celebrated annually.