Lagos launches handbook for traditional medicine practitioners
The Lagos State government has announced the launch of a code of conduct handbook for traditional medicine practitioners in the state.
The State government said the handbook was made public as part of its efforts to manage and control the practice of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine in Lagos.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, unveiled the document on Thursday, at a public symposium held to commemorate 2022 African Traditional Medicine Day in Lagos.
He explained that the code of conduct handbook was designed to act as a guide to traditional, complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, to ensure they are providing quality healthcare services to citizens, as well as adhering to basic ethical standards.
Sanwo-Olu said, “The 12-page document developed by the Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, clearly outlines appropriate conduct expected of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, traditional medicine ingredients and herbal product sellers (Elewe-Omo) and botanical and herbal product dispenser (Alagbo), as well as offences and penalties for defaulters.”
The Governor who was represented by the States Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, affirmed that there is need to ensure proper monitoring of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine as about 80 percent of citizens patronise traditional and alternative health care practitioners for their health care needs.
He further added that the State Government will keep educating residents on the benefits of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines and also ensure that the health practitioners function within their scope of practice.
“As a government, we are concerned about the wellbeing of our citizens here in Lagos and we know that 80 percent of you are using traditional medicine or alternative medicine.
“It is imperative that we understand what you are using, for your own safety. One of the key responsibilities of government is public protection and so our role is to make sure that you are aware of the benefits of traditional medicine and also aware that if the practice is not regulated, may be harmful.”
While speaking on the 2022 African Traditional Medicine Day Celebration with the theme, Two Decades of African Traditional Medicine: Progress Towards Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Africa, the governor said the theme was specifically chosen as it highlights the urgent need to ensure both traditional and conventional medicine work hand in hand to provide sustainable health care service to citizens.
“It is important for us to find a way in which traditional and conventional medicine can work together. When you go to India, China and other places, you walk into a health facility and you see traditional medicine practitioners on one side and conventional practitioners on the other side and they tend to collaborate very well because everyone knows their boundaries. It is very important that you do not practice outside of your scope because you are putting the life of your patients at risk,” he said.
Also speaking in the same vein, the Chairman Traditional Medicine Board, Prof Adebukola Oshitelu, implored traditional medicine practitioners to always operate within their scope to avoid putting their patients at greater risk.
She further urged practitioners of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine, to improve their professionalism and be guided by the ethics of the profession at all times.
Prof. Oshitelu, stated that every honourable profession is guided by a code of conduct that distinguishes it from practices by impostors and quacks.