The Lagos State Government warns that anybody found practising any form of health care delivery without a licence, will be sanctioned and prosecuted.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the warning at the celebration of the Year 2022 African Traditional Medicine Day on Thursday at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa-Ikeja, Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this year’s celebration organised by Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board (LSTMB) has the theme: “Two Decades of African Traditional Medicine: Progress Towards Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Africa.”
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said it was important for traditional medicine practitioners not to practise out of their scope in order not to risk the lives of those they are treating.
Sanwo-Olu decried the high rate of quackery, traditional medicine hawkers and concoction mixers, stating that it posed a serious health risk to the community.
According to him, traditional medicine must be regulated for proper restructuring, regulation and accreditation by the LSTMB, to eliminate quackery in the health profession.
“Traditional medicine is important culturally; it is also important for our people and the benefits that can be derived from the use of drugs, acupuncture, aromatherapy and other alternative medicine is commendable.
“Everybody has a value as long as you are trained, have a licence and accreditation to practise in your respective discipline.
“It is not acceptable for anyone to be treating anybody without a licence, either a traditional complementary or alternative medicine licence or a conventional medicine licence.
“If caught practising any form of health care delivery without an appropriate licence, you will be sanctioned and brought before the court of law for appropriate adjudication,” he said.
The governor commended LSTMB for carrying out trainings, clinical trials and toxicology, noting that it helped to know the appropriate dose and measurements.
He said: “When you take a drug, you must know the measurements to take, how to use the dose and you must have been able to perform medical trials on the particular medication.
“If you are found to be without all these attributes, you are really treading on a dangerous terrain.
“Therefore, traditional medicine practitioners should collaborate with scientists to prove that their practice is statistically sound.”
According to him, government is willing to be committed to the growth and development of traditional medicine.
Sanwo-Olu advised the traditional medicine practitioners to team up with the Conventional Medicine Practitioners in order to know how their practice could be validated.
Mrs Folashade Jaji, Secretary to the State Government, urged traditional medicine practitioners to improve their practice through standardisation of their operations, proper book record-keeping and data collection.
Jaji said that all hands must be on deck to expose fake or quack practitioners by notifying the LSTMB for appropriate sanction.
She advised that practitioners must eschew sharp practices that could endanger people’s health while imploring them to always take cognisance of the need for proper prescription and dosage to be indicated and administered.
Earlier, Mr Olorunkemi Kadiku, the Registrar, LSTMB, assured that the board would continue to put in place an enduring policy and regulatory frameworks.
He said the board would also review existing legal framework, to derive from the policy and strengthen the traditional medicine systems.
The registrar said they would consolidate on the recently constituted research group by facilitating tailor-made researches based on its priorities in the State.
“We will tap into the recent call by the State Ministry of Health for expression of interest for grants for health research and continuously revitalise our mandatory training programmes for traditional medicine practitioners to enhance their capacities.”
NAN reports that the highlight of the event was the launching of the Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board’s Code of Conduct for Practitioners.
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