The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the establishment of a Council for Traditional, Alternative and Complementary Medicine Practice in the country.
This was disclosed to State House Correspondents on Wednesday by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, after the weekly virtual FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister, who was in the company of three of his colleagues, explained that the memo, which is a bill seeking to explore the qualities of the traditional and alternative medicine fields in the country.
According to him, the bill would also take care of protection for intellectual property rights of the practitioners of the medicine field, adding that the ministry would work with appropriate agencies on research and studies.
“The Ministry of Health presented a memo today, which I presented, and it’s on a bill to establish a Council for Traditional, Alternative and Complementary Medicine Practice in Nigeria and this is a memo that seeks to take traditional and complementary medicine out of obscurity and give it a profile to institutionalise it, as has been done in other countries, particularly China and India.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 has renewed the call for home-grown solutions to all these public health diseases and to find the value in our traditional medicines and this is an opportunity with which traditional medicine’s practice can, not only upscaled, but also regulated because there are also areas of malpractice that should be checked.
“It will also provide for the possibility of trainings, setting up institutions and also being able to research further, working with the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research of Nigeria to actually dig out the values that are in our traditional medicines, where they can be used and be used for research.
“There’s also conversation about protecting the intellectual property rights of who know these medicines. My attention was drawn to the fact that property rights are not so easily protected the way we define them, they are defined differently, but the protection of traditional knowledge is something that can also be established, on which we are going to be discussing with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to protect the knowledge that has been accumulated over several generations, which is in the custody of traditional practitioners.
“By and large, this is a memo that meets a lot of demands and serves a lot of purposes,” he said.