NAFDAC moves to regulate herbal, traditional medicine practices in Niger

Expert warns against excessive intake of local herbs
United Bank for Africa

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it is collaborating with herbal and traditional medicine practitioners to provide guide to good practices.

Mr Anikoh Ibrahim, the NAFDAC Coordinator in Niger State, made this known while inaugurating a one-day sensitisation workshop organised by the agency for herbal and traditional medicine practitioners.

According to him, the agency has made effort recently in collaborations with other stakeholders to achieve the standardisation of herbal medicine products through the organisation of workshops.

“Therefore, I urge you to pay attention to the presentations as it provides a guide on the path to good herbal and traditional medicine practices in Niger state.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) said over 70 per cent of the world population depends on herbal or traditional medicine.’’

The coordinator said it was important to investigate and understand what constitutes herbal medicine, its relevance in the Nigerian society and NAFDAC’s role in its regulation.

This, he said, was the reason for organising the workshop with the theme: “Roadmap to Good Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practices in Niger state’’.

He noted that the use of traditional medicine in the country dates back to the earliest history of mankind as it is in other cultures of the world.

Ibrahim said prior to the advent of orthodox medicines in Nigeria, lack of written records of formula, methods and practices of traditional medicine was responsible for its development in spite its potential benefits to mankind.

Malam Umaru Ningi, the state Chairman, Traditional Medicine Practitioners, blamed the Federal Government for not supporting them in area of capacity building to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.

“We want government to support us to grow so that Nigerians will stop travelling to India and other places for treatment,’’ he said.

Ningi, however, appealed to the present administration to bring orthodox, herbal and traditional medicine practitioners in the country together, to enable them come up with a platform to develop the nation’s health sector.