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FG set to strengthen traditional medicine for health coverage – Minister



The Federal Government has promised to strengthen traditional medicine through favourable policies and scientific research and innovation for sustainable results.

The Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Adetunji Alausa, made this known on Thursday in Abuja at the commemoration of the 2023 African Traditional Medicine (ATM) day. The theme is: “The Contribution of Traditional Medicine to Holistic Health and Well-being for All” .


Alausa, who was represented by the ministry’s Director of Human Resources Management, Malam Hassan Salau, said that integration and collaboration between modern medical practices and traditional medicine are essential.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Aug. 31 every year as the ATM Day in the 2001 and urges all Member States to on this day review the progress of implementation of the objectives of institutionalising traditional medicine into national health systems.


“We must ensure that our traditional healers have access to proper training, research and resources, allowing them to standardise their expertise while also aligning with international best practices.


“This collaboration can lead to a healthcare system that is truly comprehensive and inclusive, benefiting all members of our society.”


He, however, assured that Nigeria would mobilise evidence-based actions in support of traditional medicine which serves as initial recourse for millions worldwide seeking to address their health and well-being needs.


Alausa added that the nation would continue to work with support from WHO, West African Health Organisation (WAHO) and other partners like the Embassies of China and India to develop traditional medicine for local use and commercialisation.


He said that studies have shown that traditional medicine use in Nigeria was as high as 81.6%, a figure that is not expected to be on the decline in the near future, especially in the face of the predicted increase in the global burden of diseases.


“The Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, seeks to bolster the economy by prioritising Universal Health Coverage which is expected to frontally address the nation’ s healthcare challenges.


“The healthcare plan will also focus on encouraging and improving funding for local research of new drugs and vaccines.


“It is a well-established fact that many medicines have their origin from herbal medicine which is a form of traditional medicine.”


He added that the nation’s approach to optimising the strengths of its traditional medicine would also focus on favourable policies, institutional and political support, Nigeria’s rich biodiversity, qualitative data, scientific research, and the use of innovation to optimise the contribution of traditional medicine to UHC and sustainable development.


Also, that it will be guided by respect for the nation’s indigenous resources and intellectual property rights. He acknowledged that the ministry has made major strides in acknowledging the role of traditional medicine in our healthcare delivery system.


They include the establishment of Department of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine (TCAM), the review of Traditional Medicine Policy for Nigeria and the Nigeria Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the development of the Nigeria Essential Medicinal Plants List (NEMPL) and the Nigerian Indigenous Knowledge documents.


Others are the establishment of a database that will capture traditional medicine practitioners in the country according to their areas of expertise.


“The TCAM department has captured over 350 practitioners in the database so far although only a bit over 230 forms have been returned.


“Training of over 800 traditional medicine practitioners on various topics ranging from good manufacturing practices, intellectual property rights, good agricultural practices, processing and packaging of traditional medicine products.


“The development of 12 Standards for Traditional Medicine in collaboration with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other stakeholders.”


Also speaking, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said that the shared theme of “Holistic Health and Well-being for All” amplifies the organisation’s commitment to the interconnectedness of health and well-being that transcends geographical boundaries.


His message was read by the Country Director, Dr Walter Mulombo. Moeti said that ATM, deeply intertwined with indigenous herbalism and rooted in the tapestry of African spirituality and culture, stands as a beacon of accessibility, affordability, and trust for millions across the continent.


“With approximately 80% of our population seeking solace in traditional medicine for fundamental health needs, it remains an embodiment of our identity, resilience, and heritage.


“We laud the strides taken by member states in nurturing the integration of traditional medicine within national health systems.


“From the development of evidence-based policies to regulatory frameworks that ensure quality and safety, from the cultivation of medicinal plants to collaborative training initiatives, our progress is tangible and commendable.”


According to him, 25 countries in the WHO Africa Region have now integrated traditional medicine into their health sciences curricula, while 20 have established training programs for traditional health practitioners and health sciences students.


This, he said, was to strengthen human resources in both traditional medicine and primary health care. He added that 39 countries in the region have developed legal frameworks for traditional health practitioners.


“While we celebrate these achievements, we remain mindful of the path ahead. The potential of traditional medicine, in terms of research, local manufacturing, and commercialisation, remains untapped.


“On this occasion, I call upon Member States to scale up their efforts and further implement evidence-based Traditional Medicine (TM) approaches to achieve the health-related SDGs and promote health and well-being for all at all ages.


“I urge member states to apply local knowledge, science, technology, and innovation to unlock the contribution of TM to advancing planetary health and people’s well-being across the life course, through regional and culturally appropriate nutrition and lifestyles within sustainable environments.


“Facilitate effective integration of traditional medicine into national health systems contributing to achieving UHC and all health-related SDGs.”


He also advocated for the acceleration of research, production, regulation, and formal utilisation of evidence based traditional and indigenous products in national health systems.


Speaking on dealing with quackery in the profession, Dr Onyemechi Uzu, Chief Executive Officer of Ruzu Herbal Products said that one of the ways was to identify all the practitioners through registration. According to him, presently there is a database at the Ministry of Health which gets the full profile of all the practitioners.


“With this database you cannot come and claim to be able to cure all, you will tell us your area of specialisation, give us your contact and we will verify to see if actually you are practicing.


“Although quackery is a challenge but we have been able to get result in getting the real practitioners who are practicing the profession.”

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Nigerian Navy arrests Motor Tanker VINNALARIS 1 Lagos for crude oil theft



The Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, IGBOKODA in Ondo State, has arrested 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS in the early hours of Thursday 7 December 2023 at about 3.00am.


A Statement by the Nigerian Navy spokeperson Commodore Ayo Vaughn said the vessel had 17 crew members onboard at the time of arrest and was caught engaging in illegal siphoning of crude oil from one of the well heads at EBESAN oil field about 7 nautical miles off the coast of Awoye riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.


He said the apprehension of the vessel was based on credible intelligence received by the Base on the illegal activities of crude oil thieves at the location which informed the swift deployment of FOB IGBOKODA personnel to enforce the arrest of the vessel and her crew.


The vessel, MT VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS, has a storage capacity of about 15,000 metric tonnes and as at the time of arrest had loaded about 500 Metric tonnes of crude oil.


The statement further added, “it is believed that Tantita Security Service TSS is involved in the illegalities because Awoye riverine area which is close to the place of arrest is covered by TSS.” Vaughan noted that it was upon the arrest of the vessel by the Nigerian Navy that TSS began to raise false alarm, which the Navy described as totally unfounded and mischievous.

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The National Judicial Commision has recommended the appointment of 11 Supreme Court Justices, one Justice of Court of Appeal, 6 Heads of Courts and 26 other Judicial Officers.


This was the consencus at the Councils 104 Meeting after considering the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee



According to a statement signed by the Director Of Information, Soji Oye, the council after much deliberations, recommended Justice Hannatu Sankey, Justice Chidiebere Uwa, Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme, Justice Haruna Tsammani and

Justice Aseimo Adumein as Supreme court Justices.


Others are Justice Obande Ogbuinya, Justice Stephen Adah, Justice Habeeb Abiru, Justice Jamilu Tukur, Justice Abubakar Umar, and Justice Mohammed Idris.


The NJC also recommended Justice Mohammed Ramat as a Justice of the Court of Appeal.


Some heads of court nominated are Justice Joel Agya, as the Chief Judge Taraba State,

Justice Umar Abubakar, Chief Judge of Taraba State amongst others.


The Council has said that all recommended candidates to the Supreme Court Bench would be sworn-in after the approval of their recommendation by President Bola Tinubu and the subsequent confirmation of their appointment by the Senate.


NJC has also noted that the various Heads of Court recommended would also be sworn-in upon the approval of their appointment by their various State Governors and subsequent confirmation of same by their respective State Houses of Assembly.

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EFCC denies comments on 70 percent Nigerian Youths involvement in internet fraud



EFCC denies comments on 70 percent Nigerian Youths involvement in internet fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has denied comments by it’s Executive Chairman, Ola Olukoyede which labelled seventy percent of Nigerian Students as internet fraudsters.




While stating this in a Statement by the Head, Media and Publicity Dele Oyewale, the Commission says it is a misrepresentation of the concerns of the Chairman of the EFCC to the rising incidences of internet- related crimes involving Youths across the Country.




It explains that its Chairman had called for wider media enlightenment of youths as a counter- measure against the menace of internet fraud at a meeting with Representatives of the Civil Society Organizations, CSOs that paid him a visit in Abuja.




Olukoyede says that reports and intelligence available to him indicated that, unless the trajectory of youth involvement in internet fraud is addressed and reversed, the future of their leadership of Nigeria may be threatened and if it continues in the next ten years, seven out ten of the youths may be getting involved in cybercrimes.



The EFCC says that at no time did its Chairman mentioned that “seven out of ten” Nigerian students are criminals” as widely reported.




The Commission assures the public that its Chairman is doubly committed to the progress of Nigerian Youths and underscores his calls for collaborative interventions in offering them more productive and sustainable alternatives.



The Statement added that the concerns of the EFCC Chairman bothers on breaking the jinx of mass indulgence of youths in cybercrimes.

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