The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu says his Ministry is set to boost natural medicine in the country through effective research and innovation.
Dr. Onu disclosed this when he received the executive of South East Traditional Medicine Association who paid him a courtesy call in his office during the week in Abuja.
Dr. Onu further said that natural medicine could do a lot for the country, adding that the country is endowed with adequate herbs, roots and leaves with healing properties that could cure and manage many diseases.
He said an agency of the Ministry, Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) is working assiduously to determine the efficacy of many herbs. According to Dr. Onu, research findings already done by the agency would be useful to Traditional Medicine Practitioners.
The Minister said there is a lot of opportunities to make money in traditional medical practice in Nigeria and urged the practitioners to partner with Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency.
Rather than Nigeria going abroad for treatment, Nigeria should look inward and utilize our natural endowments that have been certified by researchers to be non-toxic and effective, he added.
Nigeria, he explained will reap maximum benefits from export on traditional medicine to other countries as well as create job for our peoples
Dr. Onu commended the Association for their contribution to health care delivery especially in rural areas as the bulk of population resides there.
In his own speech, the Director-General of Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) Dr. Samuel Etatuvie implored the Association not to hoard their knowledge and should pass it to young ones through documentation for mutual benefits because they are the custodian of indigenous knowledge.
He stressed the need to reduce the importation of natural medicine from outside, adding that the Agency had trained members of Nigerian Association of Traditional Medicine Practitioners on practices and product development skills
Earlier, the chairman of the Association High-Chief Chibuzor Ugorji said that they want the Minister to direct all the state commissioners of science and technology to allow states chapters to join state ministry as affiliates.
He said that the Association is comfortable with the of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and called for the establishment of Traditional Medicine department in the Ministry.
The Association, which has been in existence for 28 years and has over 3.6 million members in Nigeria presented an award of excellence to the Minister for his performance in the science and technology sector of Nigeria and leadership qualities.
Edet E. Etuk
For DD (PRESS)
12th July , 2018