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The House of Representatives has urged the federal government to set aside a pool fund to boost traditional medicine in Nigeria.

It also called for the dedication of the National Institute for Research and Development to be used for the centre for the development of medicine, just as it charged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to intensify effort on the matter.

The decision followed the consideration of a motion titled ‘Need to Develop African Traditional Medicine in Nigeria,’ presented by Bashiru Ayinla Dawodu at Tuesday’s plenary.

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Dawodu in his motion noted that herbal-based traditional medicines and phytomedicine played significant roles in disease management in Africa and were widely used as alternative medicines.

“Since in 2019, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ravaged the world, and as scientists try to find a cure for it, research in traditional and orthodox medicine as a potential therapy for the virus have been prevented from being made public.

Herbal medicines are naturally occurring plant-derived substances used to treat various ailments, thus there is a crucial need to research plant-based medicine.

“There have been several declarations as regards herbal remedies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, but such claims are difficult to verify because of lack of documented evidence.

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“Developing traditional medicines research has a huge potential for health and socio-economic development in Nigeria and the African continent at large,” he said.

In a related development, the House noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread in Africa, there was a need to increase and promote the use of herbal-based treatments for the disease. The Green Chamber decried that no herbal remedy has been validated currently, for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committee on Healthcare Services to ensure compliance.

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