Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) says it is taking steps to promote Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the country.
Mrs. Zaniab Shariff, the Director, Traditional Medicine Department, FMOH, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
She said that the National Council on Health (NCH) had approved the establishment of traditional medicine departments in the 36 state ministries of health and the FCT.
The director added that the measure would promote CAM practice in the country.
She disclosed that 32 practitioners of CAM had been registered and licensed with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria as recognised by law.
She listed fields where such practitioners were registered as Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Acupuncture, and Chiropractic.
She explained that the ministry established a Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (FEDCAM) in 2009, which was closed by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in 2010 due to non-adherence to regulations.
She, however, noted that the Federal Government was reorganising FEDCAM in collaboration with the University of Benin for the establishment of CAM institute.
Shariff said there was a collaboration with India and China to train FMoH staff in the field, to equip them with the requisite knowledge to practice.
According to her, the government is also proposing to set up CAM clinics to make available the services to Ministries, Departments and Agencies and the public.
She said “we are collaborating with West Africa Health Organisation to provide technical support for training and scientific sessions between orthodox practitioners and Traditional Medicine Practitioners.
Shariff noted that FMoH recognised the slow pace of development in CAM practice in the country and that the procedure was through the recognition of highly trained CAM practitioners to deliver services in the country.
She stated that there were several corporate and private establishments involved in the development of CAM in the country.
The director called for harmonisation of activities to develop the sector and avoid duplication of efforts.
The pharmacist noted that CAM was in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) three health care systems, namely; Allopathic or Orthodox, traditional and Complementary and Alternative medicines.
Shariff said WHO defined complementary and alternative medicine as a group of health care practices that were not part of a country’s traditional or conventional medicine and were not fully integrated into the dominant health care systems.
According to her, the scope of practice which constitutes CAM varies from country to country.
She said that “traditional medicine of a country becomes complementary or alternative medicine when taken to another country.
“Many countries like China, India, and Thailand have advanced in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.”