Expert wants FG establish pharmaceutical company to process, package Nigerian herbs

According to him, by so doing, Nigeria will include natural medicine as a major foreign exchange earner for the country instead of the current trend.

A Consultant Acupuncturist, Dr Ndubuisi Nwakakwa, has called on the Federal Government to establish a pharmaceutical company where Nigeria herbs could be accessed, processed and packaged to attract foreign users.
Nwakakwa made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday.
According to him, by so doing, Nigeria will include natural medicine as a major foreign exchange earner for the country instead of the current trend.
He also urged the government to integrate complementary medicine into the nation’s healthcare system to enable Nigerians to make choice in seeking medical aid instead of limiting them to biomedical clinics or hospitals.
He said: “People come to Nigeria and explore villages to take away our herbs and plants to reform and package them nicely and come back and sell to Nigerians.
”Government should encourage current traditional medicine practitioners by setting up training schools and research institutions to improve alternative medicine.
“Our fore-fathers and some other people were sustained by such practice, which brought the discovery that alternative medicine can play a very active role in the healthcare system.
“It is important for government to make use of its efficacy to improve the health of Nigerians.’’
Nwakakwa described acupuncture as the only complementary medicine scientifically proven.
Wikipaedia describes acupuncture as a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the body.
It is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
TCM theory and practice are not based upon scientific knowledge, and acupuncture is a pseudoscience, according to the online dictionary.
He said: “Acupuncture plays a greater role in helping mankind to survive when it comes to health.
“It is used in suppressing pains generally, and also used to anesthetise patients, relieve delivery pains and for surgery of swollen thyroid gland, amongst others.
“Government should come up with full-fledged complementary medicine hospitals, so that Nigerians will be able to make their choice on where to go for medical treatments.
“Complementary medicine is an adjuvant that helps and boosts treatment, while alternative medicine means finding an alternative to a non-responsive treatment.’’
Nwakakwa also urged the government to devote more time to educate Nigerians on the importance of seeking complementary and alternative medicines.
He said that there was a knowledge gap on the value and effects of acupuncture treatment.
He said: “Addressing this knowledge gap will improve public awareness that will encourage Nigerians to seek such a treatment.
“The fact is that most of the people who know the important inputs and efficacy of alternative medicine do not want it to come up.
“But, for how long should we suppress such enormous impact while the masses are suffering?
“Our government needs to encourage the practitioners to build a sustainable position in order to provide quality and adequate healthcare delivery.’’
Nwakakwa said that the World Health Organisation had encouraged all countries to establish a board of traditional medicine to encourage its use and also help argument western medicine.
He said: “Nigeria is just coming of late when it comes to alternative medicine; we discover that most of the countries started exploring it long before now.
“In order to effectively augment the inputs of biomedical practice, government needs to encourage those who are in the system now by integrating more workshops and training.
“Most of the practitioners need to be educated more in order to know the necessary scientific approach to so many elements.
“Government can also go further by establishing schools and employing well trained people to train others who are interested.’’