Cardinal Onaiyekan Advocates for Development of Natural Medicine in Nigeria

Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the Catholic Bishop Emeritus of Abuja Archdiocese, has urged Nigerians to embrace and develop natural medicine, drawing inspiration from countries like China and India. Speaking at an event organized by the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) to commemorate Natural Medicine Day, Cardinal Onaiyekan emphasized the importance of acknowledging and harnessing Nigeria’s rich resources in natural medicine.

Highlighting the affordability and effectiveness of natural medicine, Cardinal Onaiyekan urged the Federal Government to support the development of natural medicine through initiatives like the NNMDA. He commended the recent unveiling of four herbal products by the NNMDA for the management of various health conditions, emphasizing their potential as substitutes for expensive foreign drugs.

Drawing attention to the World Health Organization’s acknowledgment of the significant contributions of traditional medicine to modern healthcare, Cardinal Onaiyekan underscored the need to recognize the intellectual property rights associated with traditional natural medicine. He lamented the oversight in adopting modern medicine, which often disregarded the valuable knowledge derived from Nigeria’s natural resources.

Contrary to misconceptions, Cardinal Onaiyekan debunked the notion that Nigerian traditional healers are fetish practitioners. He emphasized the spiritual dimension inherent in traditional medicine, highlighting the collaboration between human ingenuity and divine intervention in the healing process.

In his address, the Director-General of NNMDA, Prof. Martins Emeje, echoed Cardinal Onaiyekan’s sentiments, emphasizing the immense potential of Nigeria’s natural medicine landscape. He emphasized the agency’s role in pioneering research, development, and promotion of natural medicine practices, contributing to both health outcomes and socioeconomic well-being.


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