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The Role and Challenges of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Regulation of Alternative Medicine in Nigeria

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Abstract

Alternative medicine (AM) is any range of medical therapies that are not considered orthodox by the medical profession. It includes herbalism, folk medicine, herbal medicine, naturopathy, and crystal healing. It has an ancient history and has gained importance all over the world. In recent times, it has fast become an integral part of the health systems of societies all around the globe. In Nigeria, alternative medicine is also of great benefit and importance, especially to most Nigerians. Sharp practices and abuse in alternative medicine practices have compelled the setting up of agencies and regulations by the Nigerian government to regulate such practices. One primary agency with such responsibilities is the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), which is a Commission set up to, among other things, regulate the practice of alternative medicine in Nigeria. The article discusses alternative medicine and practice in Nigeria and the role of NAFDAC in regulating the practice of alternative medicine and legislation on alternative medicine in Nigeria. The article concludes that the institution of NAFDAC as a regulatory agency for alternative medical practice is commendable despite some challenges, which will be highlighted. However, more results can be achieved if the Commission is empowered through better policy formulation, funding, and other interventions to carry out its functions.
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