Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has restated the commitment of the State Government to integrate Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine practice to health care delivery system in the State to achieve universal health coverage.

Abayomi who disclosed this today while inaugurating a 27-member Lagos State Traditional Medicine Research Committee stated that the present administration remains committed to the realization of universal health coverage and will not relent in initiating numerous strategies and implementing programs and projects aimed at reinvigorating the health sector to bring about the desired changes and promote the attainment of universal healthcare delivery in Lagos.

He explained that Traditional Medicine Research Committee which is aimed at integrating the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine into the health care delivery system of the State aligns with international clamour for the conduct of research into the use of herbal products in treatment of health challenges through an integrative approach.

Abayomi stated further that the inauguration of the committee is in line with the World Health Organization’s strategy for the need for the integration of traditional medicine into the health care delivery system worldwide.

Said he, “The inauguration of this group is coming at an auspicious time when there is increasing emphasis on the need for the integration of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine into the universal healthcare delivery system globally, internationally and in the country as a whole”.

Abayomi added that the inauguration of the committee is geared towards promoting research and development efforts in traditional medicine which is challenged by the need for scientific explanations for the administration and efficacy of herbal products in the management of human health challenges.

“From the composition of this research group, I am assured that Lagos State will be the first to start offering scientific explanations for the use of herbal medicine in the management of human health challenges”, he said.

The Commissioner reiterated that the present administration remains committed to providing a sustainable health care delivery in the State and will not relent in its all-inclusive system of governance in achieving universal health coverage in the state.

“The present administration has increased funding of traditional medicine and this is evident in the increase in appropriation to the Board of traditional medicine. We want to assure citizens that there will be noticeable improvements in statutory regulation functions of the board in areas of monitoring, compliance and enforcement activities as well as research and development programmes”, he said.

Abayomi while stating that the health sector reform law 2006 is undergoing review to address some challenges and incorporate new developments with the aim of attaining one health paradigm disclosed that the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu will soon inaugurate the Board of Traditional Medicine which will help galvanize activities of traditional medicine practice in Lagos.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye who also spoke at the event stated that the inauguration of the research committee is the first of its kind in the country adding that the committee will help in opening numerous opportunities in research in the field of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine and will attract international and global interests in addressing challenges confronting the practice.

“Today’s inauguration is the first of its kind in the country and I am convinced that it will open numerous opportunities in research in the field of Traditional, Complementary and alternative medicine”, he said.

Dr. Olusegun Ogboye who was represented by the Director Pharmaceutical Services, Dr. Moyosore Adejumo stated further that the array of professionals of the research team assembled from various field of medicine; Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Botany as well as civil society organizations amongst others demonstrates the commitment of the State government towards developing pragmatic solutions towards problems associated with traditional, complementary and alternative medicine in Lagos State.

Responding on behalf of other members of the Committee, a member who is a professor of Pharmacognosy at the University of Lagos, Prof. Olukemi Odukoya gave kudos to the Lagos State government for blazing the trail in traditional medicine practice and going a step further to integrate traditional, complementary and alternative medicine into the health care delivery system. She assured that the committee will work assiduously to carry out its mandate and ensure development in the field of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine.