Natural Resources Backbone Of Tourism Development – Gov Diri’s SSA

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo has hinted that natural resources are the backbone of tourism development in many destinations across the world, informing that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) has been a significant component of developing a sustainable health tourism.

Mr Kiyaramo who stated this on the sideline of the official inauguration of the Technical Working Group (TWG) and Regulatory Committee (RC) of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Yenagoa at the Chief Harold Dappa Biriye Conference Hall, Golden Tulip, said the event marked the official commencement of health tourism in the state, saying complementary alternative medicine practices will increase motivation for tourists to visits to Bayelsa, being an emerging health tourism hub.

According to him, the intensification of awareness among TCAM practitioners and stakeholders in the state on the importance of complementary alternative medicine and its link tourism needed proper planning and promotion, saying that cultural roots have gained global acceptability and applicability through the practice of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine.

He said though the health practices under the umbrella of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) vary from country to country and from region to region, Bayelsa State is endowed with natural resources such as the rich biodiversity to drive traditional and complementary medicine applications.

The governor’s aide commended the the First Lady, Dr. (Mrs) Amb. Gloria E Diri for her pioneering role in ensuring that the TCAM Unit was established in the State Ministry of Health and the subsequent appointment of a well qualified professional lady, Tarelah Idowu Prefa as Head/Desk OfficerTCAM Unit while expressing confidence in the ability of the new head of unit in collaboration with the Technical Working Group and the Regulatory Committee to coordinate and monitor the practice to complement the orthodox medicine practice in the state.

Mr. Kiyaramo added that the role of T&CM practitioners in educating individuals, families, and communities on health promotion, disease prevention, public health issues, and appropriate care-seeking, can also be capitalized on in the search for having healthier populations.

He informed that the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges the contribution of T&CM to health, wellness, people-centred health care and universal health coverage and seeks to bring traditional medicine into the mainstream of health care, appropriately, effectively, and above all, safely.

He observed that in some areas, traditional practitioners are the first contact and sometimes the only
health care providers available, and that traditional herbal remedies have been used for primary health care.

Recall that the terms “complementary medicine” or “alternative medicine” refer to a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country’s own tradition or conventional medicine and are not fully integrated into the dominant health care system.

It is the sum total of the knowledge, skill and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to
different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health, as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness.

Since the 1970s, the integration of proven traditional practices with national health systems has been advocated to improve primary care access and health outcomes through increasing the availability of services as an additional point of contact.

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