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Friday, December 8, 2023

Lagos warns illegal traditional medicine practitioners

In a bid to uphold the integrity of traditional medicine while safeguarding public health, the Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board (LSTMB) has raised its voice against the rampant disregard for existing regulations by certain rogue operators within the field.

Alarming reports of unscrupulous individuals tarnishing the image of the noble practice have prompted the LSTMB to take action that promises to reshape the landscape of traditional medicine in the state.

Mr. Babatunde Adele, the Registrar of LSTMB, expressed deep concern about the surge of blatant disregard for established regulations guiding traditional medicine in the state.

In a decisive stride towards restoring credibility, the Board has unveiled a formidable plan, poised to unleash its Inspectorate Unit, as stipulated in Part 9 of the Health Sector Reform Law (HSR) 2006.

Adele, who spoke passionately about the urgency of the situation said, “We are witnessing a troubling trend where some individuals are undermining the rich heritage of traditional medicine with their reckless actions.”

He assured that the Inspectorate Unit would be a vigilant force, keeping a watchful eye on the activities of practitioners to curb any excesses.

A call to action has therefore been sounded throughout the state, targeting not only Traditional, Complementary & Alternative Medicine (TCAM) Practitioners, but also encompassing product manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, and retailers as they have all been directed to formalize their practice and register their facilities with the Agency before the conclusion of September 2023.

The deadline echoes the 2019 resolution of the National Council on Health, which urged every state in the nation, including the Federal Capital Territory, to establish dedicated Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) Departments/Boards.

This concerted effort aims to harmonize the coordination, regulation, and control of TCAM practice and its products across Nigeria.

Adele emphasized the gravity of compliance, stating that failure to adhere to the directive leaves the Board with no choice but to take appropriate measures, including the sealing of non-compliant establishments.

LSTMB, established in 1980, he said is empowered by law to accredit and regulate traditional medicine Practitioner/Premises to protect the population from quackery, fraud and incompetence in the sector.

The Board was established to oversee the development, promotion, monitoring regulation and integration of Traditional Medicine Practice into the Healthcare System as provided in the Healthcare Reform Law of 2006.

Christiana Alabi-Akande
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