Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has advocated the integration of African traditional and indigenous medicine and the training of their practitioners towards achieving wholesome alternative within the health care system in Africa.
Governor Fashola, who delivered a keynote address at the Africa Regional Forum of the International Bar Association Annual Conference in Boston, United States, said integration and training, rather than regulation, would be more appropriate in conceptualizing the knowledge that the practitioners already have with the knowledge that modern sciences provide.
Speaking on the topic, “Off to the Witchdoctor – Regulating Africa Traditional and Indigenous Medicine”, at the African Regional Forum’s Healthcare and Life Sciences and Law Committee Session of the Conference, Governor Fashola said the practitioners should be introduced to the various modern best practices in medicine in such a way that they become integrated to offer an alternative rather than merely complementary role.
“They should be introduced to imaging, helped to quantify dosage and be incorporated as an integral part of the healthcare programme by bringing them to the public arena rather than ostracizing them, in such a way that they become integrated and alternative instead of merely complementary”, the Governor said.
Governor Fashola noted that across Africa, traditional and indigenous medical practice still has a “sizeable followership” which is rooted “in belief, its success with those who patronize it and more importantly, its economic appeal”. He however contested the correctness of describing the subject as “African Traditional and Indigenous Medicine” because it is not unique to Africa”.
“Every continent that I know of, has a large store of herbs bestowed on it by nature, and the knowledge of them and their healing or curative powers has been passed down from generation to generation, and forms the basis of modern pharmacology and pharmaceutical practice”, he said.
The forum session which also had presentations from various experts and intellectuals was followed by a robust interaction on the theme.