Nigeria prepares to make use of traditional medicine
During a press conference in Legos on Tuesday 7th of April 2020, the Nigerian Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire disclosed the government’s plan to consider herbal medicine in the fight against coronavirus.
According to him, the Federal government will investigate give all interested herbalist the opportunity to produce a medicine targeted at the disease.
He stated that “We will look into every assertion. Some people say they have herbs and some others say they have concoctions. Only for those that are serious, the department of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine in the ministry of health will look into their claims and we will not throw away any suggestion,”.
He further added that “the efficacy and efficiency of these medicines have to be proven first before it is recommended for people to take.”
This decision by the Nigerian government is a step in the right direction. In fact, traditional medicine is an ancient and culture-bound method of healing in Africa that has been used to deal with various diseases that have threatened our health.
This saved millions of people in both rural and urban African communities before the advent of colonialism which saw the introduction of cosmopolitan medicine.
Consequently, Africans were socialized to accept the “new” health system which led to the gradual neglect of this age-long savior. Today, it is quite unfortunate that a typical African has more trust in cosmopolitan medicine than our long-held system of healing.
We, however, hope that the Nigerian decision will set the tone for governments across the continent to henceforth embrace and invest more into traditional medicine research to help develop the sector, save lives and preserve the African culture.