Beware of Pandemic Patients, Mamora Warns Herbalists

Olorunnimbe Mamora

The Minister of State for Health, Dr, Olorunnimbe Mamora, has cautioned traditional medicine practitioners to refer patients with symptoms of coronavirus to the appropriate authorities.

Delivering an address at a meeting held Thursday with Traditional Medicine and Herbal Cure Claimants against COVID-19, the minister said ongoing issues of looking inwards for indigenous solutions to COVID-19 was the purpose of government intervention.

He explained that the federal government was deeply committed to source for local treatment solutions from the traditional medicine practitioners by ensuring that the right protocol was executed.

The minister said, “We have reached a stage where we are experiencing community transmission of the disease. This calls for the TMPs to be on the watch for patients that will patronise them with symptoms of COVID-19 and refer them appropriately.

“The ministry recognises the role of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in health care delivery, especially at the primary health care level. Accordingly, the ministry has shown interest in the development, promotion, commercialisation and institutionalisation of TCAM Practices in Nigeria.”

Mamora listed some steps taken by the Federal Government to include the establishment of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development; the development and launching of the Traditional Medicine Policy for Nigeria 2007, under review; and the production of the first edition of Nigeria Herbal Pharmacopoeia in 2008, with the second edition underway.

The minister also cited listing of herbal medicinal products by National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC); and the upgrading of the Traditional Medicine Development Division to the Department of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2018 and the annual celebration of the African Traditional Medicine Day on August 31.