After decades of fighting for the formal recognition and acceptance of their products just like western medicine, traditional medicine practitioners appear to have now won the heart of the government.
This was as the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, disclosed that his ministry was in the process of integrating traditional medicine practice into medical school curriculum.
He also announced that following the rising abuse of codeine syrup, especially in the northern part of the country, the ministry was taking drastic steps to regulate the drug, stressing that it would henceforth be treated as a narcotic that should not be sold over the counter.
Chukwu, however, hinged the veiled official recognition of herbal medicine on the need for practitioners to go to medical school to equip themselves with the requisite expert knowledge.
He promised a level playing field to all stakeholders in the health sector.
While assuring that he would continue to support the pharmaceutical society in his official capacity, he called on herbal medicine practitioners to always lay emphasis on diagnosis before prescribing drugs to their patients.
He also said their drugs should be registered with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and packaged for export to earn money for the country.