Biochemist wants herbal medicine integrated into national health care



Prof. Toyin Yakubu, of the University of Ilorin has called on the Federal Government to integrate herbal medicine into the country’s healthcare delivery system.

Yakubu, a Professor of Biochemistry, also advocated that the teaching of general aspects of Traditional Medicine of Nigeria should be incorporated into the country’s secondary school syllabus.”

He made the call in a paper on Herbal Medicines he presented at the University of Ilorin on Saturday.

The professor called on the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to step up regulatory mechanisms to make Nigerian herbal products meet good manufacturing practices and global standards.

According to him, India is a perfect example where the government has integrated herbal medicine in to its healthcare system.

The lecturer further urged the government to “wake up to the health benefits and economic advantages of herbal medicines by setting up guidelines and policies on the use of medicinal plants,’’ he said.

Yakubu also urged the government to create conducive environment by supporting research with grants that would involve industry-linkages.

He stressed the need for a close rapport between modern health workers and traditional healers as well as relevant non-governmental organisations.

“With the approval of government, we can develop our own traditional medical systems that should be appropriately tagged, “Nija Traditional Medicine,” he said.

The Biochemist suggested that herbal remedies should begin to carry proper warning labels that would enable consumers to know the contents of their remedies, and warned consumers to look at unlabelled products on the shelf with suspicion.

Yakubu also advocated the management and conservation of the nation’s indigenous plants as well as commercialisation and exportation of its herbal remedies.

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