By Chioma Obinna
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Wednesday, called for a critical review of traditional medicine practice in the state with a view to integrating and developing it into the total package of the health care system.
Speaking at a two-day Scientific Session on Traditional Medicine in Health Care Delivery, entitled â€œTraditional Medicine in Health Care Deliveryâ€ organised by the Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, Fashola said apart from health benefits derived from traditional medicine, it also has socio-economic potentials for development.
Fashola who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, noted that in recent times, traditional medicines had been enjoying huge patronage by what has become food supplement, saying this yearâ€™s celebration of the Africa Traditional Medicine Day should be an avenue to renew commitment to the integration of herbal medicine as a component in the healthcare programme as well as solicit the active involvement of relevant stakeholders.
His words: â€œAs we celebrate the 2009 African Traditional Medicine Day, we should, therefore, not only celebrate this day but also critically examine the issues of traditional medicine intellectually and make informed decisions on the place, integration and development of this sub-sector in the total package of our health care system.â€
Stating that the state is already regulating the practice in Lagos, Fashola disclosed that the state government had sent some doctors on exploration and comparative research tour of various countries of the world like Indian for the detection of the potency of some medicinal plants.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Lagos State Traditional Medicine, Dr. Bunmi Omoseyindemi noted that the practices have witnessed so many challenges regarding insufficient evidence, safety and efficacy and guarded secrecy resulting in lack of adequate knowledge about traditional medicine and idiosyncrasies of practitioners.
â€œLet us ensure the use of safe, effective and quality products and practices, based on available evidence and acknowledge of traditional medicine as part of primary healthcare,â€ he added.