‘Nigeria can fund 10 years national budget with earnings from traditional medicine’
Nigeria can fund its national budget for ten years with the potential of traditional medicine raking in over $250 billion (N80 trillion) yearly into the economy.
Stakeholders in traditional medicine in Nigeria told The Guardian that Nigeria can make this amount by developing its rich natural products into nutraceuticals and functional foods. They say Nigeria could in fact, overtake India and China as a hub for traditional medicine utilisation.
Functional foods have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition, while Nutraceuticals is a broad term used to describe any product derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods.
According to the South African Bureau Standards (SABS), global exports of traditional medicines were worth $1.9 trillion (N7.6 trillion) in 2014, global imports were $608 billion (N2.4 trillion), and this trade is dominated by Europe and America, occupying top spots in both imports and exports of traditional medicines.
They are closely followed by China and India.
The stakeholders say if funds are released for research and development of traditional medicine practices and products, the country will cut down the health budget drastically and reduce medical tourism.
The stakeholders include top executives at the Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP) Abuja; Federal Institute for Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) Lagos; Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) Victoria Island, Lagos; Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) Abuja; Pax Herbal Clinic and Research Laboratories Ewu, Edo State; and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN).
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