Is there a role for trado-medicine in the Nigerian health sector? (10)

3 January, 2019

I agree with Chris Chan when he says, "I am quite surprised that the same topic is brought up again (and again)" on this list'. I agree that the topic is recurring but I am not surprised like him because there is only one reason the topic keeps coming back: there does not seem to be a unanimous agreement yet that Traditional Medicine (TM) should routinely be subjected to accepted international scrutiny for TM products and portions. That Includes the lack of routine post licensing/post release follow up so that their effects in the general public ones released can be documented and where necessary they can be withdrawn from the market, like their 'cousins' that are used in modern medicine and health. Part of the reluctance of many TM practitioners to subject their herbs to routine and open scrutiny is the fear of loss of livelihood (personal communication with a herbalist when I was a medical student), therefore education and enlightenment of TM practitioners on Patent Laws and how to go about patenting ones 'discovery' and then benefit from ones knowledge and labour may bring them on board. The chances of attracting TM practitioners to register their products for study, publish the findings, apply for patents, etc, may just stop the recurring of the question of TM role and usefulness.

By the way, I think the most discussed topic on this forum since 2006 is the 'role and usefulness of Traditional Birth Attendants' (I may be wrong). [*see note below]

Joseph Ana.


@Health Resources International (HRI) WA.

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HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group:

jneana AT

[*Note from HIFA moderator (Neil PW): You are right, Joseph. We have had literally hundreds of contributoons on the pros and cons of traditionalbirth attendants. This was written up by HIFA member Onikepe Owolabi as a research paper in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth: Stakeholder views on the incorporation of traditional birth attendants into the formal health systems of low-and middle-income countries: a qualitative analysis of the HIFA2015 and CHILD2015 email discussion forums.

The issue continues to be very important and very controversial. Perhaps there is someone on HIFA who would be willing to do a qualitative analysis of our ongoing HIFA discussion on traditional medicine?]