Expert Advocates 'Sin Tax' to Fund Health Insurance and Achieve Universal Health Coverage
introduction of a 'sin tax' to finance health insurance and achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.

Traditional Medicine Key to Achieving Universal Health Coverage – Pate

To facilitate actualisation of the universal health coverage (UHC) goal, the Federal Government has promised to strengthen traditional medicine through favourable policies, institutional and political support, scientific research and innovation for sustainable results.

The current administration reiterated its resolve to encourage and improve funding for local research of new drugs and vaccines in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which seeks to boost the economy by prioritising UHC to frontally address the nation’s healthcare challenges.

Coordinating Minister of Health, Prof. Mohammed Ali Pate, who spoke at an event to mark the 2023 African Traditional Medicine Day, yesterday, in Abuja, noted that with 80 per cent of the rural population using TM as a primary form of health care, traditional medicine has made an invaluable contribution to the well-being of all.

He promised that the most populous black nation would mobilise evidence-based actions in support of traditional medicine to serve as initial recourse for millions worldwide seeking to address their health and well-being needs.

Read Also: Diabetes: NAFDAC Disclaims AAU’s Herbal Remedy

Pate stressed the need to address the challenges that persist, adding that integration and collaboration between modern medical practices and traditional medicine are essential.

He said the government would ensure that “our traditional healers have access to proper training, research and resources, allowing them to standardise their expertise, while also aligning with international best practices.”

The minister observed that studies have shown that traditional medicine use in Nigeria is as high as 81.6 per cent, and looks not to decline in the future, especially in the face of the predicted increase in global burden of diseases.

He recalled that during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of traditional medicine practitioners made claims on possible medicines for the management of the disease, adding that the ministry received about 35 products that were forwarded to the National Agency for Food and Drug and Control (NAFDAC) for further analysis and possible listing.