A professor of history and Humanities Chair, University of Texas at Austin, Toyin Falola, has said Africans should be proud of what they have and stop degrading their natural resources.
Falola expressed his opposition to the idea of referring to traditional medicine as alternative medicine, saying every community was endowed with the resources to feed and take care of itself.
He said these on Saturday at a virtual conference to celebrate the works of an academic and author, Prof Nimi Wariboko, who is the Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics at Boston University, United States.
The event was attended by over 40 scholars from different countries who made different presentations to celebrate the author.
While stressing the need for Africans to celebrate what they have, Falola said, “I have never been persuaded that we should call it (herbs) traditional medicine; I mean the terminology. I’m also not persuaded that we should call it alternative medicine because it’s not an alternative medicine.
It is western medicine that is alternative, and if you interrogate many of these things carefully, these are herbal medicines with efficacy. Most medicines are based on plants.
“My colleague wrote a book on six African plants that western pharmaceutical companies converted into tablets and they resell back to you (Africans). There are many drugs being sold now that are traditional but they have been given alternative names.”
A lecturer, Prof Daniel Shishima, suggested that traditional medicine should be documented and integrated with modern medicine for holistic health care.
While applauding Wariboko’s works, the Dean, School of Theology, Boston University, Elizabeth Mary Moore, and the Director, CURA and African Studies Centre at the university, Tim Longman, noted that the institution was excited to celebrate hs works.
Longman added, “We are very happy to have Wariboko as part of our community because of what he brings in terms of intellectual rigour and fantastic creative ideas.
His books are quite important with insights in business, religion, philosophy and insights into Nigeria, Africa, Pentecostalism and the connections between all those.”
The event was attended by a former ambassador, Godknows Igali; and the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Tammy Danagogo, among others.