The Lagos State government has urged traditional medicine practitioners to bring their purported herbal COVID-19 cure for clinical trials.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the call at the celebration of the 2021 African Traditional Medicine Day held on Tuesday at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the 2021 celebration is: “Traditional Medicine: Research and Development.”

The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, said traditional medicine practitioners should collaborate with scientists to prove that their practice was statistically sound.

According to him, the state government is willing to be committed to the growth and development of traditional medicine.

“Africa is yet to find a cure to COVID-19, l, therefore, urge the traditional medicine practitioners, as the space is still open, to bring their medicine for clinical trials, under good manufacturing guidelines.

Lagos remains the epicentre of the coronavirus in Nigeria with 72,918 cases and 604 deaths as of August 31.

Mr Sanwo-Olu advised the traditional medicine practitioners to team up with orthodox medicine practitioners to know how their practice could be validated.

He encouraged them to regulate themselves and not endanger the lives of the people of Lagos State.

“It is important as medical practitioners that your mission is not to cause any harm but to prove that you can add value to the lives of residents of Lagos.

“Your utmost priority should be the wellbeing and welfare of your patients.

“We are going to regulate you to ensure sound practices of alternative medicine in the state,” he said.

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In her remarks, Folashade Jaji, Secretary to the State Government, urged the traditional medicine practitioners to research cures for COVID-19.

Mrs Jaji urged them to up their game so that traditional medicine could occupy the space it deserved.

She stressed the need for traditional medicine to be regulated and taken with applicable measures to avoid being abused.

Speaking, Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board (LSTMB), Adebukunola Adefule-Ositelu, said it was time for traditional medicine to take its place in the health sector and to be useful for all.

Mrs Adefule-Ositelu added that time had come for traditional medicine practitioners to work with orthodox medicine practitioners for people to have a choice, between the two.

She urged everyone to embrace traditional medicine, noting that it was not fetish, fake, or foreign.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Olorunkemi Kadiku, Registrar, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, (LSTMB) said the agency would continue to provide enabling environment, needed to unlock inherent potentials in traditional medicine, to the benefit of mankind.

Mr Kadiku enjoined stakeholders to cooperate, collaborate and support each other in the various fields of traditional medicine and equally uphold high ethical standards in the discharge of their obligations to patients and mankind.

READ ALSO: Why we didn’t approve herbal medicine for COVID-19 treatment – NAFDAC

“We are at a point in our onerous journey, in achieving parity and recognition accorded conventional healthcare practitioners and products, as such, all hands are needed on deck.”

The registrar said there was no gainsaying that traditional medicine was the mainstay to achieving Sustainable Development and Universal Health

Coverage, as about 80 per cent of Africa’s population relied on traditional medicine for their basic health needs.

“In some instances, traditional medicine is the only healthcare service available, accessible and affordable to many people on the continent.

“Therefore, significant contribution of traditional medicine as a major provider of healthcare services in Africa and by extension, Nigeria, cannot be underestimated or controverted, ” he said.

(NAN)

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