Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Language, Literature, Culture and Education 2015
ISBN 978-967-13140-3-6

Alternative Medicine in Nigeria: The Legal Framework

Abdul Azeez Yusuf, Abdullahi Saliu Ishola

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia


The first official involvement of the Nigerian government's promotion of alternative medicine can be traced to 1966. At that time, the Federal Ministry of Health formally gave permission to the premier university in the country; the University of Ibadan to undertake research into the “medicinal properties of local herbs”. Prior to this, there was only a sort of casual relationship between the government and practitioners of traditional medicine, although, there has been greater appreciation and interest by the government in the traditional medical system. Efforts, however, in this direction, over the last thirty years, have been more policy-based than legal. Hence, any projection of progress for traditional medical practice in the country heavily depends on extant legal instruments for its advance. It is widely acknowledged, however, both formally and informally, that traditional medicine has become a reality that must be accommodated in the country medical provisions. Therefore, like any other indispensable aspect of Nigerian life, it cannot be left unregulated. In this paper, attempt is made to examine the legal framework for alternative medicine in Nigeria by revisiting the regulatory measures that were put in place by the Federal and Kwara State governments with the aim to proposing certain feasible measures and suggestions expected to further improve the practice of the traditional medicine in Nigeria. In the final analyses, the finding of the research shows that despite the commendable role played by the Federal Ministry of Health in promoting and standardizing the practice of traditional herbal medicine in Nigeria, there is no any clear-cut legally empowered federal regulatory body that controls the practice of traditional medicine in Nigeria


Legal framework, Alternative medicine, Local herbs, Traditional medicine practitioner, Nigeria

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