The alternative medicine practitioners, under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Physicians of Natural Medicine (NAPNM), have urged the Federal Government to explore the field of alternative medicine in its fight against COVID-19 pandemic rather than paying lip service to ending the spread.
Vice President, NAPNM, Prof. Cyril Omisande, who made the call at a press conference in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, yesterday, said the outbreak of the virus had made the call for synergy between orthodox and alternative medicine most relevant than ever.
He expressed displeasure at the poor approach by the government to the management of COVID-19 cases in the country.
He said: “It is shocking that while countries like United Kingdom (UK), South Africa, India, China, Ghana and Zambia are widening the gap of opportunities that are available in medicine by accessing alternative methods of treatment and cure, Nigeria is pretending to be adamant.
“No fewer than 70 per cent of Nigerians use herbs and roots to cure themselves than they access orthodox medicine. Some of our elite stay at home to take treatment using herbal medicine and preparations. Except the late Prof. Olikoye Ransom-Kuti, former Minister of Health, no other health minister considered alternative medicine. While our government thinks that we don’t need it, other countries are developing this important sector at a fast pace.
“We are imploring government at all levels to consider the clinical trials of our products for COVID-19. We are missing a lot by turning the other way. Homeopathic and alternative remedies are potent and good for health. On the other hand, it has tremendous economic benefits for the nation. Imagine the rate at which people were engaging in medical tourism to India and China before the lockdown occasioned by Coronavirus.
“Many of them sought homeopathic remedies abroad. Why can’t we domesticate it to enlarge the hope of our people?”
In the same vein, the Registrar of NAPNM, Dr. Adedamola Bank-Kadejo, urged the government not to close its eyes to the option provided by alternative medicine practitioners in the country while considering the usage of the Madagascar preparation.