MOTION ON THE NEED FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA TO UTILIZE AND INTEGRATE TRADITIONAL MEDICINE INTO THE NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM TO ENSURE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE
Notes that in low-income countries like Nigeria, a large percentage of the population have to pay for medicines for themselves, rendering medicines unaffordable for many. Due to this, many of the rural and urban poor turn to alternative forms of medicines, which in most cases are poorly regulated;
Aware that while there have been laudable schemes like the NHIS, improper implementation juxtaposed with the booming population means that large swathes of the population are without health cover and contribute to the over 70 percent of health expenditure financed by out-of-pocket payments, further impoverishing the poor and taking orthodox or conventional medicines out of their reach;
Also aware that save for Paracetamol and Folic Acid, both of which have a high availability of 74.31 percent, many Primary Health Care Centers have low availability of essential drugs like Azithromycin, Nifedipine, Dexamethasone and Misoprostol, among others. That since some herbal medicines have proven efficacious in the treatment of some diseases, a systematized integration of herbal and alternative medicines into the health system will go a long way into ameliorating the difficulties faced by many Nigerians in procuring drugs for their medical needs;
Convinced that following success stories of dual health systems in many Asian like South Korea, Malaysia, and especially China whose efforts in the research and development of complementary and alternative medicine produced Tu Youyou, the 2015 Nobel Laureate for the country, the Federal Ministry of Health should study and draw lessons on how to bridge the gap between orthodox and herbal medicines;
Conscious that despite the existence of Nigeria Natural Medicines Development Agency in Lagos, Nigeria and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development founded in 1988 and 1992 respectively, there has been minimal progress in the development of Alternative Medicines. That the World Health Organization (WHO) through its Traditional Medicine Strategy of 2014-2023 has advocated integration of complementary and traditional medicine into the health system of most countries in the world;
Convinced that the best way to address the problem of unaffordability of drugs in Nigeria is through effective regulation and the systematized integration of herbal and alternative medicines into health system by the Federal and State Ministries of Health.
The Senate resolves:
Call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to strengthen and standardize herbal medical practice to achieve integration of the practice into the health system.
Dist. Senator Princess Stella Oduah