Director-General of National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Abuja, Dr. Obi Adigwe, has disclosed plans by the institute to inculcate modules on phytomedicine in the country’s academic curriculum.
According to Adigwe, the lockdown induced by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) opened the experts’ eyes to the efficacy herbs in the treatment of diseases in the absence of orthodox medicaments.
He spoke to reporters yesterday in Ilorin at the opening ceremony of a three-day programme entitled ‘Developing Nigeria’s Phytomedicines for a Healthy Population and Assured Economic Prosperity’.
“Orthodox medicine is the folktale of European countries and lately Asian nations. But today, Nigeria has learnt a great lesson on health issues due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“The NIPRD has a great role to play in this respect, and we had since started it. It had been proven that what our traditional medical medicines lacked was scientific knowledge, which, as an institute, we are now ready to supply,” he said.
Adigwe pointed out that NIPRD did a first class analysis on the organic medicine from Madagascar for COVID-19.
He added: “All those practising herbal medicine must now come together and be ready for scientific assistance. We had training modules and capacity processes developed in our institute, preparatory to its introduction in some of our tertiary institutions.”
NIPRD, a Federal Government parastatal under the Ministry of Health, was designed by the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDi) in 2011 a Centre of Excellence in the African Sub-region in research and development of drugs, vaccines, phytomedicine and diagnostics.
The DG disclosed that participants from Burkina Faso had attended some of the trainings packaged by NIPRD on phytomedicine.
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRazak, who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Raji Razaq, emphasised on local manufacturing of drugs and other health consumables to reduce the waste of foreign exchange through importation.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, who facilitated the event, said Nigeria, had better herbal properties than Madagascar who stole the show at the heat of the pandemic.
Oloriegbe, representing Kwara Central at the Senate, said the National Assembly in the revised 2020 Budget had voted enough funds to boost the nation’s health sector.