Complementary And Alternative Medicine: Gradually Taking Over

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With the many side effects of orthodox medicine, coupled with non availability of cures for killer diseases such as HIV, Cancer etc, the world is gradually shifting towards Complexity and Alternative Medicine, CAM, DAVID MAXWELL writes.

The over dependence on orthodox or conventional medicine has created a wide array of dangerous and destructive problems in itself. It has become a very polluting industry generating huge amounts of radioactive, biological and plastic waste. This is despite the fact that it doesn’t cure quite a number of chronic diseases, plus the wide array of attendant side effects from virtually every synthetic drug.

These and many more unresolved issues with the use of conventional medicine, has lead to increased research, acceptance and use of Traditional, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, TCAM, across the globe.

This increasing acceptance and use of TCAM has in turn given birth to an alarmingly increasing financial turnover projected at 114bn USD by 2032.

According to the Grand View Research, in it’s article titled, Complementary And Alternative Medicine Market Size and Trends – Exploring Projected Outlook and Growth for 2033, TCAM Market size is expected to be worth around USD 114.4 Bn by 2032 from USD 84.1 Bn in 2022, growing at a CAGR of 3.2% during the forecast period from 2023 to 2032.

Grand View Research provides off the shelf, syndicated market research studies, publishing over 240 reports each year, covering 45 industries, on a global scale.

“The TCAM, market is experiencing steady growth as individuals increasingly seek holistic approaches to healthcare. CAM encompasses a diverse range of therapies, practices, and products that complement or serve as alternatives to conventional medicine. With growing awareness of the importance of preventive healthcare and the desire for natural and non-invasive treatment options, the TCAM market continues to expand to meet the diverse needs of consumers seeking wellness solutions,” the research revealed.

It stated the driving factors of the TCAM market as growing consumer demand, shift towards integrative medicine, focus on wellness and prevention, increasing research and evidence, and the rising popularity of Mind-Body Practices such as yoga, meditation.  

Speaking to AljazirahNigeria Newspapers, a 2024 graduate of Medicine and Surgery from Mc Gills University, Canada who has immediately ventured into training in TCAM to effectively integrate both TCAM and conventional medicine, Soye Emine said: “It is interesting how the world is gradually shifting towards Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine so much so that in the civilized world, many practitioners are venturing into integrating it with conventional medicine for effective cure of a wide range of diseases especially those chronic diseases after decades of research, are still being managed as othordox medicine is yet discover cures for them. 

“While diseases like high blood pressure, HIV, cancer, diabetes, sickle cell anemia and many more are only being managed with complementary medicine, there are growing evidences that these same  killer diseases are being effectively cured with the use of TCAM.

“Unfortunately, despite the vast forests and arable lands where the various herbal plants are either freely growing or can be grown is at the bottom of the graph from commercialising this God given blessing.”

According to reliable industry reports, North America leads the TCAM market, driven by increasing consumer interest in natural health remedies, holistic wellness practices, and integrative medicine approaches across the region.

Experiencing significant growth in the TCAM market, fueled by the popularity of traditional herbal remedies, homeopathy, and natural wellness therapies among consumers, Europe follows North America.

Coming in third place, Asia Pacific emerges as a major market for CAM, driven by traditional healing practices, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM, and the cultural acceptance of natural therapies and remedies.

In forth place, the Middle East witnesses increasing demand for TCAM, supported by the region’s interest in holistic health, traditional healing practices like Unani and Ayurveda, and the integration of natural remedies with modern healthcare systems.

Coming last despite being the hub of the raw materials, Africa shows potential in the TCAM market, driven by the use of traditional healing methods, herbal remedies, and indigenous healthcare practices deeply rooted in African cultures and communities.

In Nigeria, the previous administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari attained a significant milestone when he created the department of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Federal Ministry of Health, but this milestone is yet to be harnessed to yield the much needed economic gains.

On June 4, 2022, during the first TCAM Conference organised by the Office of the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, with the theme “Nigerian Indigenous Medicinal Plants:Health Benefits and Economic Potentials,” Mrs Aisha Buhari called on the National Assembly to expedite the passage of the Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine, TCAM, Bill to regulate the practice and product as required by law.

The former First Lady revealed that TCAM is a very important healthcare service delivery system recognised by the World Health Organisation, WHO, which includes healthcare, health practices or interactions other than the conventional medicine and has been in existence as long as mankind for the management, treatment and prevention of diseases using plants, animals parts, water etc.

She revealed that Nigeria is blessed with over 10,000 species of medicinal plants of which less than 20% is utilized, this valuable resources she said, often referred to as “Green Gold” can be harnessed for the production of medicine, cosmetic and other related products for the benefits of our people. “The Conference is coming at a time when people are looking for alternatives and moving towards natural products which is also in line with this Administrations agenda of boosting non oil exports which will lead to commercial cultivation of medicinal plants for health, economic and social benefit with the sole aim of providing health and job creation for our teeming youths and women.”

Speaking further, Mrs Buhari said that it is her recommendation and belief that the outcome of the conference will lead to the implementation of gradual integration of TCAM into the healthcare delivery system towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage; prompt passage of the TCAM Council Bill to regulate the practice and product as required by law; establishment of a vegetable fruit market for fresh produce, semi process and raw materials for women as well as a land for women to cultivate medicinal plants using good agricultural practices for their empowerment. She called on the wives of State Governors to adopt this initiative and implement it at state levels while calling on practitioners to work anonymously to propel TCAM forward.

Speaking during the event, the then Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said the aim of the conference is to bring together experts and stakeholders to discuss ways of advancing TCAM in Nigeria. He disclosed that traditional medicine, is all we had in this part of the world before the advent of orthodox medicine the same goes for all cultures and civilization. Applying scientist tools to this ancient knowledge over countless generations is what yielded orthodox medicine today. Therefore continued interest and research into traditional medicine is the right way to go for further development of these ancient Arts in Nigeria.

On his part, the former Minister of State, Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora in his welcome remarks said that the Conference will promote the cultivation and utilization of medicinal plants as a potential source of raw materials for pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries in order to create short, medium and long term value chain as well as attract agricultural business loans and Bank of Industry, BOI, manufacturing loans to boost economic development in Nigeria.

He disclosed that Nigeria and other African Countries currently benefit minimally from global herbal medicine market, projected at 7 trillion USD by 2050 and currently dominated by China, India, US, Germany and Thailand. Significantly the cultivation of medicinal plants and commercialization of herbal medicine will attract huge economic benefits to Nigeria especially in the areas of increased foreign exchange rate earnings, wealth creation and alleviation of poverty through creation of job opportunities.f

He further revealed the pragmatic steps the Ministry was at that time working to develop TCAM in Nigeria which includes: facilitating the passage of TCAM Council Bill into Law; proposal of a State-of-Art TCAM Hospital in Nigeria; inauguration of an expert committee that is currently working out modalities for the take-off of the TCAM Institute for training of TCAM Practitioners in Nigeria.

Although the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is yet to show pragmatic commitment in this regard, practitioners have continued with their research and development of cures for various diseases. Foremost amongst such practitioners is Proffessor of Phytomedicine from the Triune Biblical University, USA, Benjamin Amodu, who after graduating from the department of Industrial Pharmacy from the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria in 1980, almost immediately ventured into research for a cure for HIV.

After over four decades of research, with about 37 pear reviewed papers to his credit, he has come.up with cures for several chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, BPH, heart disease, cancer, CKD and end stage renal disease, malaria, reversal.of Sickle Cell Anemia, COVID-19 and many more.

He told AljazirahNigeria Newspapers: “here are  special areas we can take advantage in the research I’m doing where I’m not the only one. Today using TCAM, we can shrink back an enlarged heart without any surgical procedure, unlike with complementary medicine where the surgery can last for as long as 18 to 20 hours with a very high mortality rate.E

“Eye diseases like cateract can be resolved without surgery that may lead to blindness within five years, and people that have diabetic ulcers which in conventional medicine is resolved by amputating the legs and which may lead to death while doing the amputation. But we now have anti diabetes drug will heal the diabetic ulcers and there won’t be beed for amputation.

“Also, with the issue of sickle cell anaemia, the genotype can be converted from SS to As, the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Instead of a bone marrow transplant, which will cost nothing less than 40 to 50 million dollars but we have it right here and it costs less than 10 percent of the orthodox treatment.

“Even the issues of kidney failure of which you know you have gone through and God saved you without doing through dialysis, you didn’t go for kidney transplant but your kidney is now brand new. If they were to be transplanted, you can only use it for about eight to 10 years. But now that it has been reversed you live your full life, and you are limitless in terms of the functionality of your new brand new kidney.

“This is why TCAM is gradually taking over complementary medicine across the globe,” he said.

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